Parliament Select Committee proceeding on Azam Baki would not be open to public, says Art Harun

PETALING JAYA: All Parliament Select Committee proceedings, including the upcoming Wednesday (Jan 19) meeting to discuss the share ownership of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Tan Sri Azam Baki will not be open to the public due to Parliamentary standing orders, says Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun.

The Dewan Rakyat Speaker said that all proceedings of the Special Select Committee and other committees are subject to the provisions of standing orders.

“Standing orders don’t allow open proceedings.

“In fact, standing order disallows discussion or even disclosure of witnesses, witness statements and contents of the proceedings until a report has been presented to the Dewan,” he told The Star on Sunday (Jan 16).

Azhar said that this would preserve the integrity of such proceedings.

“This is also to ensure complete cooperation from everyone involved,” said Azhar.

Dr Edmund Terence Gomez, who resigned from the MACC’s Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel last month, had urged the Wednesday proceeding of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee for Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department to be open to the public and media.

Gomez stressed that it was important to ensure that there was no attempt to cover up.

“While it’s good to have the PSC, I would also like to argue that the PSC must be open to the media and the public. It is important that the media is also privy to the discussions in PSC,” he said.

Azam is expected to be questioned by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) for Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department on his involvement in the share trading controversy next week.

According to PSC committee member and Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin, Azam has been notified and is to appear before the nine-member committee on Jan 19.

The meeting will be held at 2pm in Parliament.

As part of the eight new select committees, the select committee for agencies was announced in August 2018 by former speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof in order to monitor key government ministries and issues.

Select committees have the prerogative to summon witnesses.

Previously held hearings scrutinise how Putrajaya spent taxpayers’ money.