Sunday, February 5, 2023

Dewan Rakyat Speaker says RM1 Trillion outflow in Pandora Papers “Not Urgent”

NewsDewan Rakyat Speaker says RM1 Trillion outflow in Pandora Papers "Not Urgent"

The Pandora Papers saga continues on with the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Azhar Harun dismissing the Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s request to debate on the Pandora Papers leak today (6 October), saying that the exposé was “not urgent”.

According to FMT, Anwar had submitted a motion to the Dewan Rakyat yesterday (5 October) on the matter and stressed that the matter was of utmost importance as it involves close to RM1 trillion in offshore accounts.

Meanwhile, he said that several countries had started investigations on the matter and it will be embarrassing if Malaysia’s Parliament had not talked about this issue.

“We don’t want to punish those involved, but they can explain their side. It involves many names, and not just Umno and Bersatu MPs, even a PKR MP.” he said.

Anwar then stressed it if the government wants to uphold transparency and ensure economic sustainability in Malaysia, the Prime Minister should not stay quiet when hundreds of billions is being channelled out of the country illegally.

In response, Azhar admitted that this is an important matter, but he said the standing orders state that any motion to raise an urgent matter for debate in the House required that the issue must be of public interest, involved a specific matter, and was urgent.

“I agree that this is a specific matter and of public interest, and I agree that it is important and should be investigated, but I find that it is not urgent.” he said.

Azhar then said the matter can be raised through other procedures during the ministers’ question time, or through investigations, royal commission of inquiry, and even select committee.

He then said the matter is most suitable if raised through a parliamentary select committee (PSC) as the issue would require 30 to 40 minutes to be debated in the Dewan Rakyat.

“So, I have to reject your motion.” he said.

Meanwhile, Azhar said that he is of the opinion that the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) and the Covid-19 pandemic were more urgent than the Pandora Papers.

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