Pakatan, Opposition unanimously adopt Umno’s Noraini as new PAC chief

Datuk Noraini Ahmad speaks during a press conference in Parliament April 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Noraini Ahmad speaks during a press conference in Parliament April 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — In a rare show of bipartisanship, Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Opposition lawmakers jointly approved Datuk Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong) as Parliament’s new Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman.

After Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong tabled the motion to propose her, MPs exchanged cheerful banter characterised by Datuk Seri Tajuddin Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) teasing Noraini’s predecessor over his “pitiful” fate.

Former PAC chairman Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee (PH-Beluran) was all smiles, however, and joined the banter by adding that he took no offence and viewed Noraini’s appointment as necessary.

The motion also did not go through the usual debate as all the MPs voiced their agreement to her appointment.

Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee speaks during a press conference in Parliament April 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee speaks during a press conference in Parliament April 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

Noraini’s appointment comes after weeks of objections that came to a head with the mass resignation of Opposition members from the PAC in protest of Kiandee remaining as their chairman.

Kiandee was appointed when he was an Umno lawmaker, but he has since joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), a PH component.

PH has been under pressure to replace Kiandee since his defection as the coalition pledged in its election manifesto to reserve the PAC chairmanship for an Opposition lawmaker.

Dr Mahathir initially disagreed with replacing Kiandee but later relented by saying a new PAC chairman would be named when a suitable candidate was found.

Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming previously sought to mitigate the matter by asserting the PAC has active cases before it, which would be disrupted if Kiandee was replaced midway.

The issue prompted mass resignations from the committee, which began with Nurul Izzah Anwar (PH-Permatang Pauh) tendering her resignation, followed by Umno and PAS MPs, including Noraini who was first named to the PAC in August 2018.

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