Wednesday, June 20, 2012

PAC Dragging Its Feet?

PAC gets yellow card for 'wasting time'
S Pathmawathy
12:30PM Jun 19, 2012

Petaling Utara MP Tony Pua has questioned the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) motives in re-evaluating its decision on probes into four financial scandals, and has renewed the accusation that this is a delay tactic.

“I don't understand why the PAC can't just immediately set a date to summon the officers and management of the agencies and companies we want to investigate,” he told Malaysiakini.

“We've already discussed and agreed on the cases during our meeting on March 5. Why the need for another housekeeping meeting (tomorrow)?”

The four matters involve close to RM9 billion of government expenditure:

- The RM250 million government soft loan to the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project

- The Highly confidential out-of-court settlement between Malaysia Airlines former boss Tajudin Ramli and Pengurusan Danaharta Bhd over his RM589 million debt

- 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s RM3.5 billion ‘dubious’ investments in Petrosaudi

- The higher cost of constructing the permanent low-cost carrier terminal in Sepang, which has ballooned from RM2.2 billion to RM3.9 billion

The meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning will debate whether the PAC should follow through its investigations, Azmi Khalid (right) had told reporters last week.

This is because Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia had “advised” the panel to discontinue its probe into matters that are currently before the courts.

This is contrary to Azmi’s earlier assertion that committee is not "completely barred" from investigating the controversies.

'Start with three cases’

Pandikar had expressed reservations about the probes into the NFC project and Tajudin’s deal.

However, the Pakatan MPs (right) on the bipartisan PAC had waved off the speaker’s objections, explaining that the committee would only question government agencies on the disbursement of funds, which will not amount to sub judice.

Pua said there is a possibility of “an intentional attempt to delay matters” in light of the looming general election, which must be called by April next year.

“Why waste another meeting? Also, why can't we call others - KLIA2, 1MDB and Tajuddin - if he (Azmi) doesn't want to proceed with NFC?

“Why is everything else stuck just because of NFC?” he asked

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