PAC chairman misread Standing Orders on making select committee hearing public, says MP

PETALING JAYA: Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Wong Kah Woh has misled the public by claiming that the Dewan Rakyat Speaker has the power to make Parliamentary Select Committee hearings public, says an MP.

"I read with sheer amazement how an MP from the Opposition is able to misread a Standing Order, or pretend to misread the Standing Order, in order to mislead the public," said Datuk Willie Mongin (PN-Puncak Borneo).

"Wong says the Speaker has the discretion to suspend Parliament’s Standing Orders to make the inquiry into Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki’s shareholding public.

"Standing Order 90(2) clearly does not give the Speaker any discretion to suspend the Standing Orders relating to the PSC, nor does it give the Speaker the right to initiate the suspension of such Standing Orders," he said in a statement Monday (Jan 17).

Earlier in the day, Wong claimed that as Speaker, Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun had the prerogative to suspend Parliamentary Standing Orders by referring the matter to MPs in the House, according to Standing Order 90(2).

"A Member of the House must initiate the question and only then may the Speaker put it to the House for a vote.

"In short, 90(2) merely allows any MP to propose that a rule be suspended, and certainly not for the Speaker to make such a proposal," said Willie.

"It says the Speaker can allow the question to be put without notice to a vote in the House. That is the extent of Standing Order 90(2).

"No more, no less. But Wong has added salt and pepper, or lacks the comprehension to interpret it properly.

"Therefore, I put it to the honourable member of Ipoh Timor (Wong) that his reading of the Standing Order 90(2) is incorrect and he owes the Speaker and the general public an immediate apology for his false (claims)," he said.

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