‘As far as parliament is concerned, 1MDB probe is over’

Pandikar Amin responds to opposition MPs saying that the Speaker was being unfair in not allowing questions on 1MDB to be raised in parliament

(Berita Daily) – Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia today said that the conclusion of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigation into 1MDB last year meant the end of the issue for Parliament.

“PAC did a thorough investigation as soon as this 1MDB matter came out.

“Opposition members were there in PAC too. They did the investigation and called all relevant witnesses so that is complete.

“As far as parliament is concerned, I am concerned, 1MDB has been investigated,” he said before playing a video clip of PAC deputy chairperson Tan Seng Giaw saying so.

“Tan says here that PAC’s investigation is completed and ‘there is no such evidence that can link PM to 1MDB’, so don’t go around reporting half the story,” he told reporters here.

Pandikar was responding to opposition MPs saying that the Speaker was being unfair in not allowing questions on 1MDB to be raised in parliament.

“As far as I am concerned, it is all only politicking; that is all,” he said.

He said pertinent questions on 1MDB had already been answered in PAC’s investigation and the questions that were rejected in parliament were ones that are not in accordance with the Standing Order or sub judice in nature.

“The reason why I called this PC today is firstly to clarify on questions that were rejected. I did not simply reject them for no reason.

“This news is going viral online. This is disturbing to me; I shouldn’t be answering on rulings made in parliament. Same as judges in court.

“There are formalities here in parliament and the Standing Order is one that must be adhered to,” he said.

Pandikar said that while it was true that parliament is a place where all government issues are to be discussed, it is not a ‘market’ with no rules.

“Parliament is not a market selling vegetables, chicken and fish. When you say parliament is the best place to speak about anything to do with government, yes, but follow Standing Order,” he said.

He said that the current parliament session started the same as always whereby 10 days before the sitting MPs sent their questions and out of a thousand questions, some were filtered for not being in accordance with the Standing Order.

“Not all their questions can be answered. Before a question can be accepted, it must be in accordance with the Standing Order,” he said.

To emphasise his point, Pandikar cited order 23C from the Standing Order which says a question shall not contain any “argument, inference opinion, imputation, epithet, misleading, ironical or offensive expression nor shall a question be frivolous or be asked seeking information on trivial matters.

“There is a list, which I didn’t make up. Each question must adhere to the Standing Order,” he said.

He further said that some questions were rejected due to being sub judice in nature as 1MDB is still being investigated by the US Department of Justice.

“DOJ’s investigation involves Malaysians so some of it we can’t discuss in parliament because of sub judice. This is when a matter is being tried in court.

“I have to think if the answers would affect the trial outcome. When I say sub judice they laugh at me because the trial is all the way in US, but the Standing Order [36(2)] does not specify which court.

“It doesn’t say Malaysian courts here in 36(2). With the speed of technology now, I have to make a decision at my own discretion.

“People laugh, opposition members ask how can what’s said here affect trial in a foreign land, but with technology now information travels quick,” he said.