PETALING JAYA: The refusal by Perikatan Nasional MPs to debate the 2021 Auditor-General’s Report was a mistake based on a distorted interpretation of the Federal Constitution, says a ministerial aide.
Chiong Yoke Kong, local government development minister Nga Kor Ming’s political secretary, said Article 107 of the Federal Constitution clearly stated that the audit report must be presented to Parliament.
He added that there was nothing in the constitution that prohibited any debate on the report.
“MPs should actively discuss the report in Parliament, empower the auditor-general and the entire oversight system with greater functions and investigative powers, effectively improve administrative and financial irregularities, and safeguard the interests of the people and the nation,” Chiong said in a statement.
The former Tanah Rata assemblyman said opposition MPs should face the debate courageously.
On Monday, Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Bharu) claimed that debating the report contradicted parliamentary standing orders, adding that it would be a waste of time because the report had been thoroughly vetted by the Public Accounts Committee.
He said by law the report only needed to be laid before the lower house.
But Chiong accused Takiyuddin, the PAS secretary-general, of deliberately twisting and misinterpreting the Federal Constitution by claiming the report only needed to be placed on the desks of MPs.
He believed the former law minister’s remarks completely undermined and insulted the “sacred mission” of MPs.
“If the report only needs to be placed on the desks of MPs without debate and criticism, then wouldn’t the work of parliamentary members be equivalent to a rubber stamp?”