Noraini appointed PAC chairman

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 12, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Parit Sulong member of parliament (MP) Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad has been appointed chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), replacing Beluran MP Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee, after Pakatan Harapan and opposition leaders unanimously approved the motion.

“Being given this huge responsibility, I hope I will be able to carry out my duties with the cooperation of the other PAC members,” she said at a press conference in Parliament.

Noraini, who is also the Wanita Umno chief, is the first woman to hold the post. She thanked Kiandee for his leadership of the PAC over the past four months and said she will continue to push for the two proceedings that have not been finalised. One of these is to allow the live reporting of the committee’s proceedings and another is to allow its reports to be debated in Parliament.

Kiandee’s position as the PAC chairman became the subject of controversy after he left the Barisan Nasional coalition to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, a Pakatan component party. Several Pakatan leaders joined public interest groups in reminding the government that the coalition had promised in its election manifesto to ensure an opposition MP would be made the PAC chairman to ensure proper checks and balances on the authorities.

Late last month, Nurul Izzah Anwar (Pakatan Harapan-Pematang Pauh) resigned from the bipartisan committee in protest against the government’s decision to maintain Kiandee as the chairman. She rejoined the committee after it was announced that Noraini would be nominated for the post.

Speaking at the Parliament lobby yesterday, Kiandee said that currently, the PAC’s reports are tabled but not debated in Parliament.

“I have requested the Speaker to ensure that the reports would be debated in Parliament to show the importance and seriousness of the PAC's reports,” he said. During his tenure as the chairman, Kiandee said the PAC had tabled two reports, namely the reports on the refurbishment of the Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex as well as the Pulau Mentagor public marina project.

Kiandee said several cases are nearing their tail end, such as the review of goods and services tax refunds and the sale of land by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

Noraini said the DBKL case will continue on April 23.