No suspension, but Najib will be referred to Parliamentary committee over Felda white paper leak

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 11): Datuk Seri Najib Razak's disclosure of the embargoed Federal Land Development Authority's (Felda) white paper on his Facebook page ahead of its tabling at Parliament yesterday will be referred to a Parliamentary rights and privileges committee, the Dewan Rakyat decided today.

This follows a change in a motion by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong, from a three-month suspension for Najib to his referral to the committee.

The new motion was passed in the Dewan Rakyat with 86 votes, and 33 MPs voting against.

"This will provide the opportunity for YB Pekan [Najib] under the concept of natural justice to explain why the embargoed document was posted on his social media account," said Liew.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker has the prerogative to appoint the chairman of the committee, he added.

In his Facebook post Tuesday (April 9), Najib [BN-Pekan] posted a section of the white paper which discussed the put option for Felda's purchase of 37% stake in PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk from PT Rajawali Capital International.

The white paper, which was passed to all MPs, was embargoed until April 10, 11.30am.

The motion has caused opposition and government MPs to quarrel, with the opposition claiming that the embargoed document was published on April 9 on the Parliament's official website, and hence it had become a public document by the time Najib issued the Facebook post.

In response, Liew said the committee will conduct the necessary investigation on issues raised, including the forensic report on the exact time the non-embargoed copy of the document was uploaded.