Barisan Alternative MPs should propose their own candidate to be Public
Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman in Parliament on Tuesday
(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Barisan Alternative
MPs should propose their own candidate to be Public Accounts Committee
(PAC) Chairman in Parliament on Tuesday and reject the motion by the Minister
in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim to re-appoint
UMNO MP for Rompin, Dato’ Dr. Jamaluddin bin Mohd. Jarjis as PAC Chairman.
by Lim Kit Siang
The Barisan Alternative should have no objection to the appointment
of UMNO MP for Tambun, Haji Ahmad Husni bin Mohamed Hanadzlah as PAC Deputy
Chairman provided established parliamentary convention and tradition that
the PAC Chairman should come from the Opposition is restored.
There are at least six objections to the reappointment of
Jamaluddin as PAC Chairman:
The time has come for the Barisan Nasional government to recognise the
significance of 44 per cent of the national electorate who voted for the
Barisan Alternative in the recent general election. Malaysia’s electoral
system is very undemocratic or the Barisan Nasional would not have retained
two-thirds parliamentary majority in securing over 75 per cent of the parliamentary
seats when it netted only 56 per cent of the national vote.
PAC cannot function effectively as the premier parliamentary watchdog to
ensure accountability, transparency and integrity of public expenditures
so long as it is headed by a member of the ruling coalition. This
was why PAC reports all these years had been a "yawn" and had never
been able to make the impact like the reports of PACs
of other Commonwealth Parliaments which are invariably headed
by an Opposition MP.
As Chairman of the PAC of the previous Parliament, Jamaluddin had failed
to make the PAC a parliamentary watchdog feared not only by civil servants
but also by Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries because
of its relentless scrutiny of public expenditures to ferret out extravagance,
waste and even corruption. Jamaluddin’s PAC reports were non-events when
they should be highlights of every Parliamentary meeting!
Jamaluddin as PAC Chairman had failed to provide the leadership to reinvent
the PAC by introducing innovations not only in its modus operandi
but also initiate the modernisation of the public accountability system
as an important and integral part of the modernisation of government in
the new millennium.
Although Jamaluddin claims to be IT-literate, he did not show he has the
IT mind-set as the PAC under his chairmanship had failed to produce its
own homepage, giving notices of its business and meetings and where its
reports could be easily available - as is the case with PACs in other Commonwealth
The PAC Chairman should be a senior respected Parliamentarian. This
role does not befit Jamaluddin who, as Chairman of the Barisan Nasional
Backbenchers Club, is the leading cheerleader of Ministers and rabble rouser
against the Opposition MPs - as borne out by his rowdy conduct in the December
I will discuss with the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Datuk Fadzil
Md Noor and the DAP Parliamentary Leader, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw on the
question of the Barisan Alternative MPs proposing a candidate as Chairman
of the Public Accounts Committee.
Jamaluddin should be prepared to gracefully withdraw his candidature
if there is a proposal for an Opposition MP to chair the Public Accounts
Committee in keeping with established parliamentary convention and tradition,
as well as to demonstrate that the Barisan Nasional recognises and respects
the significance of the 44 per cent of the national vote cast for the Barisan
Alternative in the recent general election.
*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman