Five new members appointed to Malaysia's parliamentary panel probing 1MDB

Trucks drive past a billboard with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad logo at a construction site in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 22, 2015.
Trucks drive past a billboard with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad logo at a construction site in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 22, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Four Members of Parliament from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and one from the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) have been appointed to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) tasked with reviewing the accounts of state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

They replace the PAC members who had to relinquish their posts in the recent Cabinet reshuffle.

The new members are Dr Makin @ Marcus Mojigoh (BN - Putatan), Ahmad Hamzah (BN - Jasin), Nawawi Ahmad (BN - Langkawi), Koh Nai Kwong (BN - Alor Gajah) and Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS - Kota Baru), the Malaysian Insider reported.

The bipartisan parliamentary panel now has 14 members, including its new chairman Hasan Arifin, the Rompin MP from BN who was appointed last week to replace Nur Jazlan Mohamed, who is now the Deputy Home Minister, said the news portal.

Democratic Action Party's Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, who had recently faced calls for him to go due to his vocal criticism of 1MDB, is still in the committee, according to the report.

PAC was probing the state-owned investment firm for financial irregularities but its investigations were frozen pending the new appointments into the panel.

Critics had claimed the Cabinet reshuffle which resulted in the vacancies on the panel was an attempt by Putrajaya to stall investigations.

There is no date yet for the PAC to restart its inquiry, said the news portal.

Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing mounting pressure to explain the RM42 billion (S$14 billion) debt racked up by 1MDB and a payment of nearly US$700 million (S$978m) going into his personal bank accounts.

He has denied taking any money for personal gain.