Politics

Parliament speaker sets limits for 1MDB debate

Pandikar Amin has threatened to resign if the government proceeds to allow the debate to take place.

Pandikar Amin has threatened to resign if the government proceeds to allow the debate to take place.

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Written by Syndicated News

KUALA LUMPUR — November 3, 2015: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia today ruled that the debate on 1MDB can only proceed if Tony Pua steps down as a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

In addition, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy cannot not appear as a witness before the PAC in its probe into 1MDB if he wants to debate.

This is necessary to mantain the transparency of investigation and proceedings conducted by PAC in line with the rules of the Dewan Rakyat.

“An open debate can adversely affect the PAC investigation and lead to a rise on public prejudice on the credibility of the parties involved in the investigation,” Pandikar said during the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

He also stressed that any disclosure of information or matters submitted before a committee is subject to the conditions provided for under Standing Order 23 (1)(e) which states that the progress of a proceeding which has not been reported to the House cannot be divulged.

Hence, such a debate which involves questions and answers from two parties on the issue clearly contravenes the Standing Order.

“Seeing the matter to be debated is still under PAC probe, whatever information issued in the debate can be regarded as an avenue to discuss
something which is immature, seeing the committee’s report has yet to be submitted to the House.

He said by right Pua and Arul Kanda should wait until the final report of the PAC investigation is over and tabled in the Dewan Rakyat at the end of this year before the debate is held.

“I have to carry out my duty as speaker, namely, not allowing a debate between the Petaling Jaya Utara MP and Arul Kanda Kandasamy because the PAC is investigating 1MDB.

“So, the (PAC) investigation should be continued following the Standing Order,” said Pandikar, who also questioned the rationale of why the debate
should be held now.

“If the government continues with the debate, I will not involve myself in it and will gladly step down as speaker. My stand is clear,” he said, while at
the same time reminding Pua that his task in the PAC is as an investigator and not prosecutor.

“If Petaling Jaya Utara (Pua) is allowed to debate, it means he becomes a prosecutor, not investigator,” he said.

On Saturday, Arul Kanda took up Pua’s challenge to hold the debate on 1MDB without any conditions. — Bernama

 

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