April 16, 2024

New Malaysia Times

Blog News Impose Expose

Dewan Rakyat rejects motion to debate Pandora Papers

pandora papers

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6  — The Dewan Rakyat today rejected the motion to debate the disclosure of the ‘Pandora Papers’ which allegedly involved confidential financial records of several of the country’s leaders and prominent figures. 

The motion brought forth by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was rejected by Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun on the ground that it was not an urgent matter to the extent of having to set aside other matters listed in the Dewan Rakyat Order Paper.

Instead, Azhar proposed for the matters related to the Pandora Papers to be referred to the relevant Special Select Committee for further scrutiny.

“I agree with Yang Berhormat MP (Anwar) that the Pandora Papers is a specific matter, of public interest and an important issue that should be investigated. However, I find it needs not be expedited.

“We have nine Special Select Committees including on economy which involves the MOF (Ministry of Finance) and I think it is more appropriate for the matters to be brought to the attention of the committee for further scrutiny. I, therefore, reject the motion,” he said.

pandora papers

Anwar, in his motion filed on Oct 4, called for the Pandora Papers to be debated in the Dewan Rakyat, claiming that it revealed illegal financial transactions and assets held offshore by several Malaysian politicians and businessmen.

Elaborating, Azhar explained that there were some restrictions in the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders to discuss the issue as the Pandora Papers were merely findings of investigative news reports based on leaks of information from several agencies.

“Under Standing Order 23 (1) (i), a question shall not be asked as to whether statements in the press or of private individuals or financial bodies are accurate.

“And if read together with Standing Order 18 (7), the Speaker can refuse to allow any motion contravenes any of the provisions of the Standing Orders of the House.

“So, I think the proposal (to refer the matter to Special Select Committee) is more effective than having to set aside other matters in the Order Paper to discuss it,” he said.