Malaysia's Public Accounts Committee has no authority to remove members

The Newly appointed Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin.
The Star/ANN

PETALING JAYA - The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has no authority to remove any of its members, said newly appointed chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin.

He was referring to Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, who has been under fire for allegedly making statements against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) while sitting on the PAC, which is probing the state development fund.

"The PAC does not have the power to remove any of its members. The chairman and deputy chairman are appointed by Parliament. It is very clear.

"Members of the PAC are appointed by the Committee of Selection representing all parties in Parliament," said the Rompin MP.

"We do not have the power to remove anyone. We will just be discussing the principles of the committee, which is integrity," Hasan said on Tuesday.

The only ways to remove a PAC member are if there is a motion tabled against the member or if leaders of that member's party propose to remove him via the Dewan Rakyat.

Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang in his blog post had implied that PAC member Tony Pua's position may be in question due to a "pre-fixed agenda of excluding Tony from PAC's 1MDB investigations."

Hasan, who is also Rompin MP, thanked Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang for his "advice and tuition" on how to handle the PAC.

Earlier in the day, Pua stressed that he had never breached PAC Standing Orders in his criticisms of 1MDB.

What he discussed with the media was information which had already been released to the public, said Pua.

Former PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed had previously defended Pua against allegations that he had breached any rules.

Pua was also asked to step down from his post by various parties, including 1MDB, as he was under police investigation related to the state investment firm.

However, Pua had said that he was only questioned as witness and that it would not conflict with the investigation into 1MDB.