KUALA LUMPUR: An Opposition MP has disagreed with the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) on Human Rights, Election and Institutional Reform's proposal to call in the former and current attorney generals over the outcome of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s graft case.
Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (PN-Arau) said that the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) should be the one explaining the decision on behalf of the AGs.
"When I previously asked the question on the outcome of Ahmad Zahid’s cases in the House, Kota Melaka (Khoo Poay Tiong) answered that the select committee was working to call the attorney general in.
"I want to tell the PSSC that the government should explain it. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) should answer on behalf of the attorney generals.
"What more, the one who answered is Kota Melaka when Selayang is the PSSC chairman," he told the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Sept 14).
Selayang MP William Leong was the select committee chairman whereas both Khoo and Shahidan were members.
Shahidan was also adamant that despite being a fellow select committee member, he was not informed on the matter.
"I am a member of the select committee. Why didn’t you inform me? They said the notice was sent to the group but there is none.
"What is there was what I told the Speaker in the hall at 11.30am, whereas the official statement only came at 1.53pm the same day after I raised the issue," Shahidan said.
Shahidan said no date had been set for the meeting as well, adding that doing so would not resolve any problems.
"The PSSC is not the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The attorney general has a right not to attend proceedings," he said.
When met in Parliament, Kota Melaka MP Khoo meanwhile said Shahidan should be well aware of the latest parliamentary developments on the issue seeing how the Arau MP was in the Whatsapp group of PSSC members.
"If he doesn’t know, it means he is not carrying out his duties (as a PSSC) member accordingly. He’s only interested in the Parliament sitting, coming to Parliament and doing live social media sessions for publicity," he said.
Khoo added that the current unity government emphasized on the select committees, adding that it provided an avenue for MPs to further discuss issues seeing how there were time constraints when debating in the lower House.
"The committee is also bipartisan with ruling and Opposition MPs. That is the platform to debate and find out the truth," he said.
Khoo said Shahidan also had the opportunity to question those called in.
"You are also in it. When we call in the AG, you can also question them and ask whatever questions you want to ask.
"Why do you still want to argue about this when its already very clear," Khoo said.
On why he raised the issue instead of PSSC chairman Leong, Khoo said it was because he was in the House at the time.
"I just stood up and reminded him that the PSSC intended to go ahead with this proceeding and you (Shahidan) are a member as well," he added.
On Tuesday (Sept 12), Khoo told Parliament that former attorney general Tan Sri Idrus Harun will be called in by the PSSC on Human Rights, Election and Institutional Reform to explain the outcome of Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid’s graft cases.
PSSC Leong chairman added that both Idrus and current AG Datuk Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh would be called in.
In a separate statement, Leong said the select committee also proposed a proceeding to discuss the separation of powers between the Attorney General and the Public Prosecutor.