KUALA LUMPUR: Voices are growing louder in the Dewan Rakyat for Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee to be replaced as Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman.
The latest was from Dr Kiandee’s own “friend”, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng, who openly called on Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon to make a ruling on the issue.
“With all due respect, YB Beluran (Dr Kiandee) is my old friend but this is a matter of principle.
“The request is simple, to fulfil the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto and we must keep this promise.
“There are no two ways about it," he said in Parliament on Monday (March 25).
Earlier, Lim stood up just before resumption of debates on the Royal Address and cited Standing Order 77, which deals with the functions of the PAC.
“It is obvious that Pakatan backbenchers want the PAC chairman to be replaced,” he said.
Mohd Rashid said Lim's request would be taken note of and discussed by Parliament’s selection committee.
In Parliament lobby, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Baru), who is a PAC member, noted that PAC's two top posts are being held by Pakatan lawmakers – Dr Kiandee and Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh.
“The present situation is far from what was intended by Pakatan.
“At the least, the chairman could be held by the government and deputy from the opposition,” he said.
Takiyuddin, who is PAS secretary-general, noted that there is a worry that the PAC would not function as an independent body to query the government if both its top posts were held by Pakatan MPs.
On Saturday (March 23), Subang MP Wong Chen disclosed that PAC members had written to the Prime Minister, recording their dissent about Dr Kiandee remaining in the position.
The calls for Dr Kiandee to quit had also come from three deputy ministers: Steven Sim, Hannah Yeoh and Chong Chieng Jen.
Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izah Anwar also resigned from the PAC committee recently, believed to be in protest of the government's move to take over the PAC chair.
On Sunday (March 24), Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad assured that Pakatan would keep to its promise and that Dr Kiandee would remain PAC chairman only until a suitable candidate is found.
Dr Kiandee became the first opposition MP to hold the post when he was appointed to it in August last year while still an Umno MP.
However, he, along with a group of Sabah Umno lawmakers, subsequently quit Umno and turned independent before joining Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia on March 15.