Date of publication: Oct 25, 2013
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 020
Byline / Author: By B. Suresh Ram; Elvina Fernandez; Hana Naz Harun
THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called seven ministries and government agencies to provide explanations on several issues, including those raised in the 2012 Auditor-General's Report.
The parliamentary select committee's chairman, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, said the seven were the Communications and Multimedia Ministry; Transport Ministry; Housing and Local Government Ministry; the Home Ministry; Inland Revenue Board; Royal Customs and Excise Department; and the Education Department.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the PAC meeting at Parliament House yesterday, Nur Jazlan said the Communication and Multimedia Ministry would be asked to explain its payment for the K-POP performance at the Youth Day celebrations last year.
He said its minister, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, had volunteered to face the PAC on Nov 14 to provide the necessary explanation.
Praising the minister for coming before the committee of his own accord, Nur Jazlan said it should be an example to other ministers to do the same.
The second ministry to appear before the select committee will be the Transport Ministry, on Nov 19.
It will have to explain the delays plaguing KLIA2, as well as shortcomings in the Kota Kinabalu International Airport expansion project, as highlighted in the 2012 Auditor-General's Report.
The select committee would also ask the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry to explain its incinerator projects, in particular two incinerators which were not built according to specifications.
Nur Jazlan said the Inland Revenue Board and the Royal Customs and Excise Department would have to explain the shortcomings related to the collection of taxes.
"It will also enable the PAC to obtain feedback as well as information on the steps and measures to be employed by the Customs Department in the event the goods and services tax is implemented.
"If a GST is implemented, they will be the agency responsible," he said, adding that it was crucial as the people were concerned with the impending implementation of the GST.
Nur Jazlan said the Education Ministry would be asked to explain issues involving security guards at schools, which had been played up by the media.
"We have to look at issues which are close to the heart of people," he said, adding that the leakages associated with the project did not involve the entire RM2 billion spent on it."
He said the Home Ministry would have to explain the loss of various assets as well as the steps taken to improve and rectify the management of its assets.
Nur Jazlan said PAC had also decided to call on 1MDB Berhad to ascertain its operations and its financial management acumen.
Other issues discussed at yesterday's meeting were Felda's RM500 million investment in a hotel in London and the tuna port project in Tok Bali, Kelantan.
Nur Jazlan said they had also decided that the select committee's report on NFC Bhd would be tabled in Parliament.
On the proposed live telecast of proceedings in the PAC, Nur Jazlan said at the moment, the Standing Order of the Dewan Rakyat did not allow for proceedings to be made public until the PAC report on the proceedings has been finalised.
"We will write to the Speaker (of the Dewan Rakyat) to look into this."