PETALING JAYA: Information about the press secretary to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng disappeared from the staff directory of the ministry’s website for a few hours today after the aide’s position came under question in the Dewan Rakyat.
Opposition leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob had brought up the matter when he questioned the impartiality of the Speaker, Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, in not taking action against Lim for allegedly misleading the house with his statements about Goods and Services Tax.
Ismail had asked Ariff if his son Muhamad Lutfi was an aide to Lim, which the Speaker acknowledged.
Ismail then asked his son’s position was related to the Speaker’s lack of action against Lim. However, Ariff maintained that there was no conflict of interest involved, and that he had acted impartially.
Hours later, Lutfi’s name no longer appeared on the Finance Ministry’s staff directory at its website. Screenshots have been making the rounds showing his name having been listed there. His details reappeared later in the evening.
The Speaker later announced that he would not chair a debate on his decision not to refer Lim to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee. The opposition, which is appealing against his decision, had asked him to withdraw from chairing the meeting in October.
FMT has reached out to Lim’s press secretary for clarification.