Motion to debate Pandora Papers rejected

SPEAKER Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun has rejected a motion to debate the Pandora Papers.

While it was important and of public interest, Azhar said the matter could be discussed in other platforms such as the Parliamentary Select Committee.

“Although it is an important issue, it is something that can be raised in other platforms such as during the Minister’s Question Time or Question Time.

“It is also perhaps more appropriate to push for an investigation by a Royal Commission (RCI). Alternatively, the Pandora Papers can also be brought to the nine Parliament select committees,” he added.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who raised the motion, said no action had been taken by Bank Negara Malaysia or the government to probe what he said was a “tax evasion scandal”.

Azhar said the Pandora Papers had not been verified and Standing Order 23 (1) (i) states that Parliament should not be the platform to confirm mere media reports.

The Pandora Papers are a data leak involving 2.94 terabytes of data which cited the opening of offshore accounts involving former and current government and political leaders around the world, including Malaysia.

Among those named in the Pandora Papers as having offshore accounts were Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Selayang PKR MP William Leong.

Azhar added that the government had also agreed to the new composition for the Parliamentary Select Committees.

“I will bring this to the Parliament committee so that a motion can be brought on Monday,” he said.

Anwar then said he would file a motion under Standing Order 43 requesting the Speaker to review his decision.

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