Malaysian media barred from entering Parliament in committee's final proceedings on 1MDB

Motorcyclists pass a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur.
Motorcyclists pass a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian media personnel were barred on Thursday (Feb 11) from entering Parliament where the bipartisan Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is holding its final round of proceedings on state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The proceedings by the PAC - a bipartisan parliamentary panel - sees the committee hearing testimonies from former 1MDB president and chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Halmi and the company's ex-chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh on Thursday (Feb 11) and Friday (Feb 12).

Although media personnel were informed Wednesday (Feb 10) that the committee would hold a press conference on Friday (Feb 12), several media arrived in the hopes of getting comments from Mohd Bakke after his testimony.

However, media arriving at Parliament's guardhouse on Thursday (Feb 11) were informed that they were barred from waiting outside the room where the PAC proceedings were to be held.

Formed in 2009, 1MDB has come under heavy criticism from politicians of both stripes and the media for racking up debts of RM42 billion (S$14 billion) in its first five years of existence and opaque deals.

In a statement on Tuesday (Feb 9), PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin said the committee would have gathered sufficient information from previous hearings to make an objective, transparent and fair conclusion.

The PAC probe into 1MDB has been ongoing since May 2015.

The Auditor-General is also scheduled to present the final report on 1MDB on Feb 24 and 25.