Hasan: PAC boycott not an issue

PETALING JAYA: Boycotts are not an issue for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), says PAC Chairman Hasan Arifin because there was sufficient quorum for all previous meetings.

In a statement today, Hasan dismissed reports of several PAC members having skipped months of meetings as a sign of protest against him.

“Matters of boycott do not arise because an Opposition representative was present at the meeting (today), and those who could not attend have informed that it was due to unavoidable reasons.

“According to Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders, the quorum required for the PAC to convene is three people, including the chairman, and the meetings held have fulfilled this quorum,” Hasan said.

However, Hasan urged PAC members, as officials elected by Parliament, to respect their responsibility to the people to “review and ensure the government’s expenditure is truly in the people’s interest”.

The meeting today, Hasan said, involved the management of Bank Pertanian Malaysia Berhad (Agrobank), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry.

The meeting was to look at Agrobank’s financial performance and its implemented management activities to ensure the company had followed set government procedures.

“Testifying before the PAC were MoA Secretary-General Ismail Bakar, MoA Deputy Chief Secretary Mohd Sallehhuddin Hassan, and Agrobank CEO and President Wan Mohd Fadzmi Wan Othman.

“PAC is satisfied with the explanation given by the witnesses present and will hold a meeting to prepare a PAC summary and recommendation report to be presented in Parliament,” Hasan said.

A Malaysiakini report yesterday, quoting several highly-placed sources, stated that a Barisan Nasional (BN) MP was also among those who missed several meetings.

It said this was believed to be the result of Hasan’s sole decision to remove a key sentence in the PAC’s report on state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Petaling Jaya Utara DAP MP Tony Pua was among those mentioned, and was reported to have been joined by Teluk Kemang MP Kamarul Baharin Abbas Shah and Selayang MP William Leong.