Pandikar to probe claims budget speech misled House

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KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia will investigate claims that Prime Minister Najib Razak misled lawmakers when tabling Budget 2017.

He was responding to a motion filed by Steven Sim (DAP-Bukit Mertajam), who yesterday requested for Najib, who is also the finance minister, to face the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges committee.

“Parliament is extraordinary. Never, in any parliament, has there been discrepancies to the point where the person who tabled the budget is accused of confusing the Dewan.

“I am considering if there is a need for that. Give me a chance to investigate and after, I will make my ruling.

“You must remember that in the Standing Order, a prima facie case has to be established first,” he told the Dewan Rakyat this afternoon.

Sim had asked for an update over the motion he filed yesterday, telling reporters afterwards that what was announced by Najib last Friday was “either not found in, or substantially differed from the budget documents.”

The discrepancies , both Sim and DAP Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming noted, include Najib’s announcement that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will receive an allocation of RM1 billion to improve the quality of broadband services and expand coverage nationwide.

Sim, however, claimed that in the Estimated Federal Expenditure for the Communication and Multimedia Ministry, MCMC’s parent ministry , only RM57.5 million was set aside as “development expenditure” for a “Broadband Project”.