KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 ― Newly-appointed deputy minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed refuted yesterday claims that he has “sold out” by accepting the post and stepping down as the chairman of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
In an interview with English daily The Star, the Pulai MP said that the PAC has been functioning even decades before he stepped in, and will continue to do so without him under a new chairman.
“It’s not fair to accuse me of such things… For me, I have moved from the legislature to the executive and the job at the ministry is more challenging than the PAC.
“I am moving on, so what’s the problem?” asked the deputy home minister, who claimed he is “still the same person”.
Nur Jazlan however insisted that the bipartisan committee can only continue when the new chairman and members are appointed in the next parliamentary meeting.
“I just did my job with the support of my committee members, which people thought was good. The PAC will continue its work under a new chairman,” said Nur Jazlan.
“The selection will be done when Parliament sits in October. Be patient.”
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said yesterday that the PAC must halt its investigation into the controversial 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) until a new chairman is named to lead the committee, following confusion over the status of the inquiry.
The website of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) quoted Pandikar as saying that although Standing Orders 77(3) allowed for an existing PAC member to be elected to chair the committee in the absence of its chairman or vice-chairman due to ill health or specific reasons, the provisions cannot be used when the post is vacated.
Nur Jazlan is among four PAC members who were brought into the federal administration by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a sudden Cabinet reshuffle, which saw the removal of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and several other critics of Putrajaya’s handling of the 1MDB fiasco.
PAC vice chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw, however, argued that they still have nine out of 13 members still on the committee, which fulfils the quorum for it to proceed with its work.
Prior to the appointments, the PAC had scheduled August 4 and 5 to question 1MDB chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy and his predecessor, Datuk Shahrul Ibrahim Halmi, as part of their investigation into the state-owned firm’s dealings.