Malaysia's Public Accounts Committee will not hold press conferences after backlash

Malaysia's Public Accounts Committee will not hold press conferences after backlash
PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Ariffin (pic) said he was "disappointed" that his efforts to create a friendly atmosphere between the committee and the media was not appreciated by some quarters.
PHOTO: The Star

UALA LUMPUR: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will not hold anymore press conferences after the backlash it received from the newly-appointed chairman's remark on "cari makan" on Wednesday.

PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Ariffin (pic) said he was "disappointed" that his efforts to create a friendly atmosphere between the committee and the media was not appreciated by some quarters.

On Wednesday, Hasan chaired his first PAC meeting and the topics were on the delay in the east-coast highway II project and weaknesses in the aquaculture project under the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority.

However, at a press conference later, when asked on 1Malaysia Development Bhd, Hasan reportedly said "saya pun cari makan" when pressed further if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would be called before the PAC on the 1MDB issue. Najib is 1MDB advisor.

"It is not necessary to call the Prime Minister," he said, adding "Jangan lah, saya pun nak cari makan."

In a statement on Thursday, Hasan said although he had asked reporters not to publish the remark, which he said was meant as a joke before inviting journalists to lunch with him, there were some who still reported it.

"Therefore, beginning Nov 23, PAC will not be having anymore press conferences," said Hasan. He added that any information will be conveyed through official statements.

1MDB chief executive Arul Kanda Kandaasamy is to be summoned to testify before the PAC on Dec 1. Arul's predecessor Datuk Shahrol Helmi will be called to appear before the PAC on Nov 25.

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