Reshuffle halts Parliament committee's 1MDB probe

Public Accounts Committee chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed (far left) and his deputy Tan Seng Giaw with an interim report on 1MDB in a file photo. Replacements for committee members newly appointed to the Cabinet must be found.
Public Accounts Committee chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed (far left) and his deputy Tan Seng Giaw with an interim report on 1MDB in a file photo. Replacements for committee members newly appointed to the Cabinet must be found.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA • Proceedings of the Parliament's bipartisan Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will be temporarily halted until there are replacements for those recently appointed to the Cabinet, said Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

The PAC chairman also said that he would be stepping down from his post, as he has been appointed the new Deputy Home Minister in a reshuffle of Cabinet posts by Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday.

"I will step down from it," said Mr Nur Jazlan.

The PAC, which is one of the organisations investigating 1Malaysia Development Berhad, consists of MPs from both the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and the opposition parties. It currently has 13 members - eight from BN and five from the opposition parties.

 
 

Apart from Mr Nur Jazlan, two other BN PAC members were appointed deputy ministers.

They are Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican and Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

A fourth BN PAC member, Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau, was made the new Science, Technology and Innovation Minister.

The appointments have been criticised by analysts and opposition leaders who see the four appointments as a tactic employed by PM Najib to delay the probe into the 1MDB scandal.

The Prime Minister had also unexpectedly terminated the services of Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, who was one of the four chiefs in a separate task force investigating 1MDB.

Said Mr Nur Jazlan in a short statement yesterday: "All (PAC) proceedings that had been arranged for August, including 1MDB, will be halted until the new PAC line-up is announced at the next Lower House (Parliament) sitting."

Parliament will next sit in October - more than two months away.

Deputy Parliament Speaker Ronald Kiandee said the House's Standing Order 77(4) reads that "no members may be appointed or nominated to or act as a chairman or a member while he is a minister".

The Deputy Speaker said when contacted: "Our tradition is the respective parties will recommend the members of the replacement to the Committee of Selection."

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2015, with the headline 'Reshuffle halts Parliament committee's 1MDB probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe