Reminder To Parliamentary Select Committees Over Secrecy

Reminder To Parliamentary Select Committees Over Secrecy

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 (Bernama) — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has reminded members of parliamentary select committees that they are bound by the Standing Orders not to leak any information on any probe before their report is presented to the House.

“Article 85 of the Standing Orders states that a committee cannot disclose any information, either written or verbal, to outsiders before it is laid before Parliament.

“To do so would be unfair to the person that they are investigating. What if the investigation finds the person not guilty?” he said to reporters here today.

He was commenting on the leaked official transcript of proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee investigation of 1Malaysia Development Berhad obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

WSJ, in its latest report, claimed that the United Arab Emirates had raised questions on a US$1.4-billion payment from 1MDB, which allegedly never reached the country’s state investment fund, International Petroleum Investment Co.

Pandikar Amin said Parliament can take action against any committee member who is found to have violated the rule.

He cited the case in December 2010 where Dewan Rakyat suspended four Members of Parliament, including MP for Gombak Mohamed Azmin Ali, for six months for revealing the proceedings of the Rights and Privileges Committee hearing claims against the international consultancy firm, Apco Worldwide.

Pandikar Amin dismissed a suggestion that the staff of Parliament may be involved in leaking the document, and said there was no need to investigate them.

“How do I know where the leak came from? It is their (the PAC’s) business. After that all those things (information) leaked.

“How can that be from my Parliament?” he said in response to the call by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad for him to investigate his staff.

Nur Jazlan, who was PAC chairman, told an online news portal yesterday that none of the members could have leaked the transcript of proceedings of the committee’s last meeting as none of them had access to the document.

Earlier, Pandikar Amin closed the 36th general assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.