KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian government has for the first time appointed an opposition MP as chairman of the key Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee, a five-term Umno lawmaker from Sabah and a former deputy Speaker of the Malaysian Parliament, has accepted the post, The Star newspaper reported on Tuesday (Aug 7).
The PAC chairman's post was earlier offered by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to opposition leader Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the former deputy prime minister, who turned it down.
The PAC plays a major role in the workings of government as it scrutinises the government's finances and the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet public expenditure.
Having an opposition MP helming the PAC is seen as giving the body more teeth to quickly look into possible financial mismanagement in government.
In previous years, the PAC that was headed by successive senior Umno lawmakers probed the scandal surrounding state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), but did not offer any concrete action.
The new deputy chairman of PAC is Mr Wong Kah Woh, a Perak MP from the Democratic Action Party, a member of the four-party PH.
The motion to appoint the PAC chief was moved on Tuesday by de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong, and passed unanimously in Parliament without a debate.