Kit Siang moots special parliamentary panel to look into Pandora Papers

An ilustration of a laptop showing the website of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists with the presentation of the Pandora Papers in Paris October 4, 2021. — Reuters pic
An ilustration of a laptop showing the website of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists with the presentation of the Pandora Papers in Paris October 4, 2021. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today proposed setting up a Special Parliamentary Select Committee to investigate the Pandora Papers and provide recommendations to the government to deal with offshore financial abuse. 

The Iskandar Puteri MP urged Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar who is in charge of Parliament and law to initiate a motion to set up the committee on October 25 when the Dewan Rakyat reconvenes so that it can conduct public hearings. 

“In an era of widening authoritarianism and inequality, the Pandora Papers investigation provides an unequalled perspective on how money and power operate in the 21st century — and how the rule of law has been bent and broken around the world by a system of financial secrecy enabled by wealthy nations.

“The Parliamentary Select Committee should investigate how deeply secretive finance has infiltrated Malaysian politics — and offer recommendations on what the government should do to end offshore financial abuses,” the Iskandar Puteri MP said in a statement. 

He added that the committee should be given six months to complete its work. 

Lim said the formation of this special committee should be made for four reasons, first of them being Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun’s admission that the leaked papers were important matters of public interest and should be looked into by a Parliamentary Select Committee. 

The second being that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has guaranteed that the federal government will not interfere with any investigation against individuals whose names were implicated in the Pandora Papers.

“Thirdly, the call by Transparency International to all national governments to ‘get their own affairs in order’ following the release of the Pandora Papers.

“...and fourthly, the connection with the 1MDB scandal, which the US Attorney-General at the time has described as ‘kleptocracy at its worst’,” Lim said.

On October 3, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released the Pandora Papers, a hoard of data — reportedly involving some 11.9 million documents and 2.9 terabytes of data — used to expose supposedly corrupt dealings of the global elite.

It is the largest trove of leaked offshore data in history with documents coming from offshore service providers operating in Anguilla, Belize, Singapore, Switzerland, Panama, Barbados, Cyprus, Dubai, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles and Vietnam.

Malaysians mentioned in the documents include former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, PKR’s Selayang MP William Leong, and current Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

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