Friday, October 22, 2021

Dewan Rakyat maintains decision to reject motion on Pandora Papers debate

Speaker Azhar Harun says the motion brought by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was incomplete.

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The Dewan Rakyat today maintained its decision to disallow a motion to debate the leaked Pandora Papers claimed to contain, among others, the confidential financial files of several prominent figures in the country.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s request for the matter to be debated was rejected for the second time by speaker Azhar Harun. He had first disallowed a similar motion on Oct 6.

Azhar said the second rejection of the motion brought by Anwar under Standing Order 90 (1) and 90 (2) was because it was incomplete, adding that the Port Dickson MP should have cited Standing Order 43 instead.

“I have seen the letter (notice) of Yang Berhormat (Anwar) and I have signed the letter and, as Yang Berhormat expected, I rejected the motion because Yang Berhormat made a motion under (Standing Order) 90 (1) and 90 (2) to stop enforcement of the ruling but did not state which ruling.

“Secondly, the main issue raised in this latest motion is on the same matter and the motion under (Standing Order) 18(1) and 18 (2) submitted last week had been rejected by me… and, as such, I cannot accept under 90 (1) and 90 (2).

“On last week’s decision (to reject the motion), I feel Standing Order 43 should have been used, which is for the House to review my decision… but what I got was a motion submitted under 90(1) and 90(2),” Azhar said.

Anwar today again questioned Azhar’s decision to reject the motion, saying it was important for the matter to be debated in Parliament.

Azhar said the Pandora Papers exposure did not touch on the hoarding or transfer of money to offshore companies but rather the shareholding in companies.

“These are two different matters, Yang Berhormat. I have read about the Pandora Papers more or less, and it is not about the outflow of money but the shareholding of several individuals in offshore companies… and not as was raised by Yang Berhormat,” he said.

Anwar however questioned Azhar’s explanation, saying the speaker was acting like a counsel for one implicated in the exposure.

Azhar denied this and said: “I am not trying to be a lawyer here. I am only setting the facts straight. In any case, I have made my decision and it is final. It is up to Yang Berhormat to refer the decision under Standing Order 43.”

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