KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh has been appointed as the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, replacing Parit Sulong MP Datuk Noraini Ahmad after she stepped down due to her appointment as higher education minister.
The DAP lawmaker was previously the committee’s deputy chairman. His number two is Beaufort MP (Bersatu) Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.
Both candidates received unanimous support from the Lower House.
During the debate, Arau (BN) MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim joked to the Lower House that his verbal sparring partner from the Opposition, Jelutong MP RSN Rayer, should have been proposed by Pakatan Harapan to head the committee.
“I support my friend, the honourable Jelutong, to be the PAC chairman. However, Pakatan Harapan did not propose him but instead proposed the honourable Ipoh Timur as the committee’s chairman,” said Shahidan.
Rayer and Shahidan are frequently at loggerheads and usually engage in heated debates but the government backbenchers also teased each other by saying that they deserve better positions in government or in their respective parties.
In response, the Jelutong lawmaker then called upon Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to appoint Shahidan as one of his federal ministers.
Meanwhile, Pasir Salak MP (BN) Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said that the PAC needs to play a more active role in monitoring government leakages and corruption at the civil service’s administration level.
He pointed out that departments and ministries such as the Public Works Department have assets worth upwards of hundreds of thousands of ringgit each — including construction vehicles and other equipment — that have been left abandoned or are underutilised.
He also noted that many government buildings including mosques and suraus are not being maintained properly and it is the duty of the PAC to ensure that action is taken against those who are responsible for ensuring these assets’ wellbeing.
“You see some assets being abandoned, being left under trees, and these assets are worth hundreds of thousands to millions of ringgit each. Unfortunately, it’s not being given enough attention by the administration.
“Civil servants usually come and go. So one administrator might sweep things under the carpet and it will be difficult to track down these assets especially if there are corrupt elements,” said Tajuddin.
Kinabatangan MP (BN) Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin agreed with his colleague, saying that the PAC should be granted more power and autonomy in order to conduct its duties.