KUALA LUMPUR: MCA has called for the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to be replaced immediately.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the replacement must be done as the PAC is part of Parliament's check-and-balance mechanism.
He said it was the PAC's responsibility to check all public accounts and launch investigations into any discrepancies in government administration as pointed out in the Auditor-General's report.
The PAC, he said, is also responsible for making proposals to the government for improvement.
Dr Wee said since 2004, the PAC chairman and deputy chairman positions have been held by representatives from the ruling party and the Opposition respectively.
"This is to ensure the balance of power and allows the committee to monitor and point out any mistakes in a fair and objective manner.
"However, ever since Beluran MP Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee jumped ship from Umno to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, both the positions of PAC chairman and deputy chairman for the 14th Parliament are held by the ruling party.
"This is the first time in 15 years," said Dr Wee in a statement on Thursday (March 28).
Dr Wee also said that replacing the PAC chairman would ensure fairness and integrity.
"Only then it can function properly to monitor and point out any mistakes," he added.
Dr Wee also took a swipe at Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming, who had opposed the replacement of Kiandee.
"(He) is not concerned about the authority and integrity of PAC. All he cares about is to justify what (Prime Minister) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said," Dr Wee added.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob could not confirm if the three MPs from Barisan Nasional and PAS had officially resigned from PAC.
"I don't know. I only made a decision in terms of (Opposition members) resigning. But in terms of them sending (their resignation letters), I haven't checked or asked.
"But Opposition representatives did not attend a recent meeting (on March 27), and their absence shows that they have resigned," he said at the Parliament lobby on Thursday.
On Monday (March 25), Ismail Sabri said that the three Opposition MPs, who make up one-third of PAC's members, had resigned pending Kiandee's replacement.
Of the three, two are from Barisan, namely Parit Sulong MP Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad and Jasin MP Datuk Seri Ahmad, and the other is PAS' Kota Baru MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.