DATUK Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (Bersatu MP for Masjid Tanah) has undermined her fitness to be the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson to examine the 2021 Auditor-General’s Report.
The ideal solution is for vice-chairman Wong Shu Qi (DAP MP for Kluang) to be the PAC chairperson to examine the 2021 and 2022 Auditor-General’s accounts while Mas Ermieyati will resume her role to examine the 2023 Auditor-General Accounts.
Mas Ermieyati should not have boycotted the parliamentary debate on the 2021 Auditor-General’s Report as it showed her lack of independence and submission to her Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition’s directive to boycott the debate than to carry out her functions as an independent PAC chairperson.
If the PN MPs had done a check on the internet, they would have found that it is not a rare occurrence for the Auditor-General’s Report to be debated in other Parliaments.
The reason why it is straight away referred to the PAC in Malaysia is because the government of the day was not prepared to give time for a debate on the Auditor-General’s Report before referring it to the PAC for fuller study and investigation.
As I have said two days ago: “In my nearly half a century in Parliament, I would have been ecstatic if the government-of-the-day had agreed to a parliamentary debate on the Auditor-General’s Report.
“Yet the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Opposition MPs plunged Parliament into a one-hour of chaos in their opposition to debate the 2021 Auditor-General’s Report and even worse, carried out a boycott of debate itself.”
Since Mas Ermieyati has failed to show the requisite independence of a PAC chairperson, Wong should be allowed to act as PAC chairperson to examine the 2021 and 2022 Auditor-General’s accounts while Mas Ermieyati can return as the PAC chairperson to examine the 2023 AG Accounts.
This would also avoid the invidious position of Mas Ermieyati having to preside over the examination of the 2021 and 2022 government accounts when PN formed the government, and the invidious position of Wong Shu Qi having the lead to examine the 2023 accounts when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government was in the saddle.
It would be better if Mas Emieyati suggest these changes in the PAC chairperson for the three years to examine the Auditor-General’s Report for 2021, 2022 and 2023. – June 9, 2023
Veteran lawmaker and retired DAP supremo Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang is the former MP for Iskandar Puteri.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.