Saturday, June 16, 2012

Is the PAC Sleeping?

PAC’s failure to meet is attempt to cover up scandals, say Pakatan MPs
By Shannon Teoh June 14, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) failure to meet in more than three months suggests a bid to cover up financial scandals involving the incumbent federal government, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) members of the panel alleged today.

They told a press conference here that despite the parliamentary committee resolving on March 5, 2012 to prioritise four top issues involving government expenditure worth close to RM9 billion including the RM250 million National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) scandal, no meetings have been called since the end of March.

“This clearly shows that there is a cover-up order from the very top. The PAC chief has been told not to hold meetings as they could have a negative impact on Barisan Nasional’s (BN) chances of retaining power,” DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua told reporters.

PAS’s Tumpat MP Kamaruddin Jaafar also added that “what has been spent has not been resolved but now we are spending another RM13.8 billion,” referring to Putrajaya’s tabling of a supplementary supply Bill earlier today.

DAP vice-chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw (picture), who is also PAC deputy chief, said the five opposition members of the panel had sent a letter to panel chief Datuk Seri Azmin Khalid requesting that the committee be convened as soon as possible to look into the four controversial cases.

The cases are the NFCorp in which former Cabinet minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and her family are accused of abusing a RM250 million federal loan, Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli’s confidential out-of-court settlement with Danaharta over his RM589 million debt, 1 Malaysia Development Bhd’s RM3.5 billion Petrosaudi investment and the cost of KLIA2 surging by RM2.2 billion to RM3.9 billion.

The PAC had on March 21 also decided to carry on with the NFC probe despite Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia’s orders that it cannot touch on criminal charges against Shahrizat’s husband and NFCorp chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail.

The order came just a day after the Wanita Umno chief’s family, who own NFCorp, refused to face the committee.

Dewan Rakyat had also rejected questions from four DAP lawmakers in March concerning the Tajudin-Danaharta settlement which politicians from across the divide said was a matter of public interest, saying it could not discuss issues being deliberated in court.

The four MPs had all asked Putrajaya to reveal details of the settlement and how it benefits the public as the former Malaysia Airlines chairman had already been ordered by the High Court to pay the RM589 million he owed Danaharta, which was set up to take over bad debts during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
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