Opposition MPs quit PAC en masse


KUALA LUMPUR: All three opposition MPs have resigned from Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with immediate effect, pending the replacement of Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee as chairperson.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri, the opposition leader in Parliament, said that the members were Parit Sulong MP Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad, Jasin MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah, and Kota Baru MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.

“All opposition PAC members resign and give full power to the government.

“We will not remain in the PAC until the government gives the chairman position to the opposition,” he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Monday (March 25).

There are 12 PAC members, of which eight are from Pakatan Harapan, two from Barisan Nasional, and one each from PAS and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu.

According to Ismail, Pakatan’s election manifesto had clearly stated that the PAC chairman position is meant to be held by an opposition MP.

“At the time, Dr Kiandee was an opposition representative. However, after he decided to switch parties to become a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia member, the Prime Minister said that Dr Kiandee would remain as PAC chairman – which is clearly against the Pakatan manifesto,” he said.

Ismail added that a meeting of Barisan MPs decided to propose Dr Noraini as the new PAC chairman.

“The Barisan letter dated March 1 was sent out to inform the Parliament Speaker. However, there has been no response.

“If this is allowed to be continue, where the chairman and deputy chairman are both from Pakatan, this means that more PAC members are from Pakatan.

“This also means that Pakatan has full powers in the PAC. The whole point of appointing a chairman from the opposition is so that there is a more effective check and balance,” he said.

Ismail pointed out that even parliamentarians from Pakatan Harapan disagreed with Dr Kiandee’s remaining at the helm of the PAC.

Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izah Anwar had earlier resigned from the PAC, 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 said Pakatan would keep to its promise and that Dr Kiandee would remain PAC chairman until a suitable candidate is found.

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