Decisions on Malaysia's Public Accounts Committee today

Newly-minted minister in charge of parliamentary affairs Datuk Seri Azalina Othman.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PETALING JAYA - The Cabinet will decide today whether there should be a special sitting of Parliament to appoint a new Public Accounts Committee chairman.

Newly-minted minister in charge of parliamentary affairs Datuk Seri Azalina Othman said the matter of new appointments to replace the vacancies created by the recent Cabinet reshuffle would be brought up for discussion.

"The Cabinet will decide if the appointments will be done at a special sitting or when Parliament convenes as usual," she told The Star.

The next Parliament meeting is scheduled for Oct 19.

She said this when commenting on calls by Backbenchers Club chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin that a special sitting should be convened soon to appoint a new PAC head.

The calls were made to ensure there would be no delays in PAC's investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd issue.

The PAC probe came to a halt after its chairman, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, was appointed Deputy Home Minister.

Three other Barisan Nasional PAC members - Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican and Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin were also appointed deputy ministers and Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau as minister - in the reshuffle, forcing them to drop from the PAC.

1MDB's former and current chiefs Datuk Shahrol Halmi and Arul Kanda Kandasamy had been scheduled to testify at the PAC hearings on Aug 4 and 5 but the hearings did not proceed.

Businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, who was linked to 1MDB based on the Auditor-General's interim report on the company, is also scheduled to appear before the PAC on Sept 8.

PAC member Datuk Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir urged the Cabinet to convene a special sitting of Parliament to appoint a new PAC chairman.

"The sooner the better," he said.

He said PAC needed a chairman to continue its investigations but added that it was not necessary for replacements for the others because there was sufficient quorum for the committee to carry on its proceedings.

"All we need is a new chairman and three members to continue our work.

"The other appointments are merely for political positioning," he said.

Beside Abdul Aziz, the PAC comprises deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP), Datuk Liang Teck Meng (BN), Hasbi Habibollah (BN), Datuk Wee Jeck Seng (BN), Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abbas (PKR), Leong Jee Keen (PKR), Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar (PKR) and Tony Pua Kiam Wee (DAP)

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