KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said has denied that there was a deliberate move in Parliament to prevent questions on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue from being aired by opposition MPs.
In a statement, the Umno MP for Pengerang said there were in fact four questions on the subject listed in the order paper for the first sitting of the current meeting of the Dewan Rakyat today.
She said the questions were from Petaling Jaya MP Tony Pua (DAP), Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen (PKR), Seremban MP Anthony Loke (DAP) and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng (DAP).
“The opposition’s action in alleging that Parliament is deliberately hiding information related to the 1MDB issue (by disallowing questions) is very baseless,” she said.
“In fact, to claim that not even one question on 1MDB is being answered is also not proper,” she added.
Azalina said questions that did not get listed in the order paper may be related to legal action being heard by the courts, or may be in breach of parliamentary meeting orders.
“The opposition’s action in playing up this issue only shows that they have run out of issues to be brought up in Parliament,” she said.
“The opposition should give priority to issues affecting people in their respective constituencies and not recycle the same issues,” she added.
Earlier today, the Dewan Rakyat erupted into chaos when a motion to debate on 1MDB was rejected by deputy speaker Ismail Mohamed Said who said the matter was considered sub judice.
Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong) criticised alleged attempts to reject questions on the sovereign wealth fund and its subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.
“If we cannot ask in Parliament, where else can we ask?” he said. “It is as if the matter cannot be raised. Why don’t we get the opportunity to ask in Parliament?”
Mujahid Rawa (Amanah-Parit Buntar) also demanded that the government respond to queries on the 1MDB matter.
He argued that the issue involved the country’s image, adding Parliament was the place to answer the questions on the controversial state-owned company.
“If we discuss it outside Parliament, we will be accused of tarnishing the country’s image,” he added.
Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang, who is DAP’s parliamentary leader, also said the matter needed to be debated.