Despite roadblock, Parliament’s PAC goes on as scheduled

PETALING JAYA: The Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was held as scheduled despite the notice to suspend all parliamentary meetings for two weeks owing to Covid-19 risks.

PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh confirmed that the meeting was held as scheduled although they faced difficulty getting to the Parliament building, which had a heavy police presence following a protest march by Opposition MPs.

He said he was on his way to Parliament when several policemen stopped him. Despite explaining that he was the PAC chairman, he said the police officers threatened to arrest him if he did not move away from the roadblock.

Wong said several other PAC members faced similar problems although they had letters signed by the Dewan Rakyat secretary.

“Such an action is uncalled for and a threat to our role as PAC members,” he said in a statement.

He said the PAC members were finally allowed to enter Parliament following intervention by the Parliament’s administration.

The PAC meeting follows a notice by the Health Ministry recommending that all activities in the august House were to be postponed for two weeks from July 29.

The Dewan Rakyat’s five-day special sitting, which began on July 26, was slated to hold its final meeting yesterday but this was postponed indefinitely due to the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

On the PAC hearing, Wong said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah were summoned to brief the committee on vaccine procurement.

The ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Mohd Shafiq Abdullah and National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency division director Dr Roshayati Rusli were also there.

Wong said this was the PAC’s fourth meeting on vaccine procurement, with the report to be tabled in Parliament by October.

The PAC began its hearings on vaccine procurement on Jan 5 and has since called Dr Adham, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and several other ministry officials to brief the committee.

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