1MDB debate can still go on without Pua, DAP says
(Malay Mail Online) – Another Pakatan Harapan leader can substitute for Tony Pua to avoid objections over the Public Accounts Committee member’s participation in a public debate on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the DAP said today.
The party’s chief parliamentary whip, Anthony Loke, said they construe that the Speaker’s prohibition on a debate between Pua and Arul Kanda Kandasamy was due to the DAP MP’s position as a member of the PAC that is investigating the firm.
“We will discuss if there are other representatives, be it from DAP, PKR or Amanah,” Loke said at a news conference at the Parliament lobby.
“I take what the communications minister said… the debate definitely can go on,” he added, referring to Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak.
This morning, Salleh announced that national broadcaster RTM has proposed a Friday slot to hold the planned debate between Arul Kanda and Pua.
But Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia later said that he cannot allow such a programme to take place while the PAC is still investigating 1MDB.
Loke today argued that Pandikar’s ruling was limited to Pua on the ground that the Speaker was of the opinion that as a PAC member acts as an investigator and cannot assume the role of a prosecutor.
“We take the position that the debate cannot be between Arul Kanda an a PAC member, so there should not be any problem if it is with other MPs,” the Seremban MP said.
On Pandikar’s query as to why they insist on having the debate, Loke said it is needed to answer the many questions raised by the public since it will take months before the PAC will be able to release its findings.
When making his ruling today, Pandikar said the debate can only proceed if Pua were to either resign as a PAC member or excuse himself from any investigations involving 1MDB.
The Speaker added that Arul Kanda cannot be called in as a witness for PAC’s proceedings on 1MDB if they were to go ahead with the debate, as both men were intricately involved in the parliamentary committee’s investigations.