KUALA LUMPUR: The controversy over the appointment of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman arose because the pledges made in Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto are too clear, says PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said the appointment of a PAC chairman wasn’t an issue, as it only required a discussion between parliamentarians from both sides of the political divide.
“If they (Pakatan and Opposition) can resolve it in a week, then a week. Otherwise, a few months.
“I don’t think it’s an important issue, frankly. We just need to sit down and settle this because as I’ve said, we have a problem and the problem is that the manifesto is too clear and it’s not a complex issue,” he said.
Anwar also said the appointment of a new PAC chairman was not something that required “billions of ringgit” to resolve.
“It’s a matter of quick political decision, whether we think that the position taken by Pakatan in this manifesto is worth reconsidering due to present circumstances, or we can just proceed.
“My personal view is that we can proceed (with current PAC chairman). It’s not a complex issue at all.”
On Monday (March 25), the Opposition MPs who made up one-third of the PAC, “resigned” pending the replacement of Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee as the committee chairman.
Pakatan’s election manifesto previously stated that the PAC should be chaired by an opposition MP.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dismissed the “resignations” of the opposition MPs from the PAC as “their own business”.
Dr Mahathir had previously said that Pakatan would keep its promise and that Dr Kiandee would remain as PAC chairman until a suitable candidate was found.
Meanwhile, Anwar said the appointment of a PAC chairman was the responsibility of the Parliament Speaker.
“This is the job of the Speaker and if there is a need, he should consult the views and (get the) advice of the prime minister.”
On Monday (March 25), Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming said it would be unfair to the public if the PAC chairman was replaced now because the committee was near the completion of its probe into several high-profile cases.
According to Anwar, Nga’s remarks was his personal view and it did not reflect Pakatan’s stand.
“That’s why I said the Speaker must take it upon himself because this is a mandate given by Pakatan, which is to be managed by the Speaker of the House.
“To avoid any sort of misunderstanding, there should be a discussion between the Speaker and both the ruling party and the opposition, and (the speaker should) also to seek the advice of the Prime Minister,” he said.