PAC chairman slams police threats of arrest against him, accuses authorities of failing to ensure safe passage for attending MPs

·3-min read
Federal Reserve Unit personnel are seen blocking access to the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur August 2, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Federal Reserve Unit personnel are seen blocking access to the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur August 2, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 ― Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Wong Kah Woh has today condemned police intimidation against him and fellow PAC members, accusing the authorities of attempting to obstruct the committee’s proceedings at the Parliament building earlier.

Describing the police’s action as “uncalled-for”, the Ipoh Timur MP said he deeply regretted the authorities’ conduct in failing to ensure a safe passage for PAC members to hold a scheduled proceeding with the Health Ministry at 10.30am this morning.

“On my way to Parliament building, I informed the police personnel posted at the roadblock of my duties as PAC chairman and requested for them to allow me passage but was turned down.

“The same happened to several PAC members at the roadblocks even though we were provided letters signed by the Dewan Rakyat secretary notifying of the panel’s meeting.

“At the same time, the police officer even threatened to arrest me if I do not leave the area within two minutes,” he said in a statement here.

This as police had earlier erected barricades on roads leading to the Parliament main entrance after the government moved to cancel the final day of the Dewan Rakyat’s five-day special sitting that was originally scheduled for today but which has been postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19 concerns.

Opposition federal lawmakers then gathered at the Merdeka Square this morning in a symbolic protest against the authorities’ move to shut and adjourn the special Parliament sitting but were prohibited from entering the building by the authorities.

Wong said PAC members were eventually allowed safe passage following intervention from Parliament’s administration much later.

“This is against the motion which ordered the Inspector-General of Police to guard the entry and exit routes for MPs to attend any meetings in Parliament approved by the Dewan Rakyat at each term opening which is also in violation of Section 124 of the Penal Code.

“Our presence at Parliament is to attend PAC proceedings and the calling letter is clear and concrete proof to those on duty,” he said.

Separately, Wong said today’s three-hours proceeding on the vaccine procurement issue with Health Ministry representatives went smoothly under full compliance of existing standard operating procedure (SOP).

Those present to testify included Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Health Ministry secretary-general Datuk Mohd Shafiq Abdullah and National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) director Dr Roshayati Rusli.

“The PAC will discuss the report and present its summary and recommendations to the government on the matter before it is tabled in the Dewan Rakyat in the upcoming session in October,” Wong added.

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