Mas Ermieyati Is Barking Up The Wrong Tree – Kit Siang

PAC Chairperson Mas Ermieyati speaking at a press conference in Parliament.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 – Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Mas Ermieyati Samsudin is barking up the wrong tree, says DAP veteran Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang.

In a press statement today, he responded to a statement from Mas Ermieyati on Friday asking Kit Siang to “ask the Dewan Rakyat speaker why PAC’s reports are not being debated in Parliament instead of questioning her.”

Kit Siang said he had already done that two days ago when he pointed that it “would be ideal if there is a parliamentary rule for the Auditor-General’s Report to be debated, its reference to the PAC, and a parliamentary rule where the PAC report is then debated.”

Earlier on Friday, Kit Siang had stated that Mas Ermieyati had undermined her fitness as PAC Chairperson  to examine the 2021 Auditor-General’s Report.

He had said that she should not have boycotted the parliamentary debate on the 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, and the reason why the Auditor-General’s Report is straightaway 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.”

The Perikatan Nasional (PN) Opposition MPs instead plunged Parliament into a one-hour chaos on Thursday in their opposition to debate the 2021 Auditor-General’s Report and even worse, carried out a boycott of debate itself.

In his statement today, Kit Siang said the ideal solution for Mas Ermieyati’s failure to show the requisite independence of a PAC Chairperson would be for Wong Shu Qi, the MP for Kluang and PAC Deputy Chairperson, to be PAC Chairperson to examine the 2021 and 2022 Auditor-General’s accounts and MAS Ermieyati to be 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 Perikatan Nasional formed the government, and the invidious position of Wong Shu Qi having the lead the examination of the 2023 accounts when the Anwar 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.”

This is a parliamentary innovation which should be practised by other Parliaments in the world.

“I am no more in Parliament although I agree that there should be a Standing Order for the reports of the PAC to be debated in Parliament.

“This is likely to be achieved under the Anwar unity government than under any other government.”

He also added that it will be test of Mas Ermieyati’s tenure as PAC Chairperson to get such a parliamentary practice accepted in the parliamentary standing orders.

— WE