New PAC chair, deputy want to make watchdog’s hearings open to all

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New Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Seri Mas Ermieyati Samsudin and her deputy, Wong Shu Qi, will ask the Speaker to amend the Standing Orders and make the parliamentary watchdog’s proceedings open to the public.

In a statement after their appointment today, they said they will apply for Datuk Johari Abdul, who was also the chairman of the Standing Orders Committee, to amend the current rule requiring the PAC’s hearings be closed.

“We believe that PAC proceedings should be conducted openly to ensure they are held in a transparent, accountable and credible manner in line with the institutional reform agenda that is currently the government’s main focus,” they said.

Shafwan Zaidon

The two also urged Speaker, as the head of the Selection Committee, to expedite the appointment of the remaining 12 members of the PAC in order for it to begin performing its functions.

Mas Ermieyati, the Masjid Tanah MP from Bersatu, said she and Wong (DAP-Kluang) have also agreed to conduct a working visit to Boustead Heavy Industries Corp (BHIC) Shipyard in Lumut, Perak, to learn the progress of littoral combat ship (LSC) project.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim proposed Mas Ermieyati and Wong as the new leaders of the 15th Parliament’s PAC earlier today.

The PAC is a parliamentary committee formed to examine reports from the auditor-general (A-G) and scrutinise the government’s finances and money allocated by Parliament for public expenditure.

It is a tradition stemming from the Westminster parliamentary system to follow up on the findings of public audits and the PAC has the power to call ministers, members of the public, civil servants and other officials to the committee for questioning. –MMO