Bersih 2.0 questions Dr M’s commitment to institutional reforms after keeping Kiandee as PAC chief

Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee received his Bersatu membership card from chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during the Bersatu membership card handing-over ceremony in Putrajaya March 15, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee received his Bersatu membership card from chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during the Bersatu membership card handing-over ceremony in Putrajaya March 15, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Elections watchdog Bersih 2.0 today expressed concern that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the move to have Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman position held by an Opposition member was “only policy and “not institutionalised’.

Dr Mahathir had earlier today announced that Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee will remain as the PAC chairman despite joining the ruling party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

“For the Prime Minister to say that because this promise was not institutionalised and therefore can be overridden raises more serious concerns about his commitment to structural institutional reforms.

“For it (PAC) to be chaired by an Opposition member will ensure that the ruling party cannot exert undue influence over the agenda of the PAC,” Bersih 2.0 said in a statement today.

The elections watchdog added that the government should have learned from the 1MDB scandal about the importance of a bipartisan PAC that is not chaired by a ruling party representative.

Earlier today, Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa told Malay Mail that Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee should have the “moral courage” to voluntarily give up his post as PAC chairman after joining the ruling party.

“By not doing so, Ronald and Dr Mahathir only prove that PH (Pakatan Harapan) will never honour their promise and manifesto.”

“This is one of many reasons why the rakyat has lost their trust in the PH government,” he said.

Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin had also called for PH to stop rolling back on its electoral promises and let the Opposition Barisan Nasional (BN) head the PAC.