Vice-President Dato Simon Lim Seng Chai on the Public Accounts Committee
Sunday, March 24, 2019
The Public Accounts Committee should rightfully be led by someone who's not a member of the ruling government, in the spirit of good governance which we advocate. Having a government backbencher chairing the committee may undermine its perceived independence and effectiveness.

The ruling government, had in its general election manifesto, pledged to appoint an opposition member to lead the PAC. With Kiandee having switched political affiliation since, he can no longer be deemed to be part of the opposition.

The Public Accounts Committee oversees the funds granted by Parliament. It is important that this process is not just transparent and above board, but be seen to be so. Having someone from the ruling coalition leading the PAC diminishes the principle check-and-balance.

In the past, we've seen how the integrity of the PAC, which was then chaired by government backbenchers, was questioned especially with regard to the committee's investigations into the 1MDB issue. The former Auditor-General had even claimed that the PAC's report on 1MDB was amended.

We are not questioning the integrity or professionalism of Kiandee in chairing the PAC. But as a matter of institutional integrity, the government should stick to the spirit of its pledge about having the PAC chaired by an opposition MP.

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