Monday, 12 July 2010

Offer of Selangor PAC Chairman to BN Adun..beware of "Greeks bearing gifts"

This is interesting news from the state with more than one tiger on the hill. Apparently the Selangor DAP controlled state Government is appointing a BN legislator to head its Public Accounts Committee, ahem, ahem, following parliamentary convention in "most" Commonwealth countries.

read the news here:

Selangor to name BN rep as state PAC chief
By Neville Spykerman July 12, 2010 (MI)

SHAH ALAM, July 12 — In another first, the Selangor legislature will appoint an opposition Barisan Nasional (BN) state assemblyman to head its powerful Public Accounts Committee (PAC) — following parliamentary convention in most Commonwealth countries.

A motion to appoint Datuk Mohd Shamsudin Lias as state PAC chairman will be tabled at this sitting of the Selangor state assembly.

Currently, Parliament and all other state PACs are headed by ruling government backbenchers with the opposition serving as members.

“We believe in setting examples and milestones. This is a good move,” Selangor executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar told The Malaysian Insider today.

The Sungai Burong assemblyman, who is currently one of two BN state lawmakers in PAC, was selected because of his experience.

Mohd Shamsudin is a former civil servant, having previously served as a district officer.

Dr Xavier said Parliament should follow the example and appoint a federal opposition member as head of its PAC.

“This will allow the opposition to play its role as an effective check and balance on government administration,” said Dr Xavier.

DAP’s Lau Weng San said the motion to appoint Mohd Shamsudin will be supported by both Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and BN state lawmakers.

“I understand that discussions have been held between the Speaker and the Selangor opposition leader,” the Kampung Tunku assemblyman.

He added that Mohd Shamsudin had a good track record in the state assembly and was known to be hardworking.

Mohd Shamsudin is due to replace PKR Kajang assemblyman Lee Kim Sin as state PAC leader. Lee will remain as ordinary member of the select committee.

So assuming that a BN legislator accepts the post and in keeping with Commonwealth norms where 2/3rd of the PAC is opposition while 1/3rd is from the governing party. Where then stands the much vaunted Selangor Legislative Assembly Select committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (SELCAT) chaired by the DAP's Mr Speaker Teng himself.

Before Pakatan supporters starts to go ga, ga about the latest Selangor Executive move, I think the the question is WHO decides the cases going to the Selangor State PAC and/or SELCAT or the PAC is just a ceremonial committee designed to take the mickey out of the BN Legislators.

Going by the latest SELCAT hearings, it is the most powerful oversight committee of the governing state Government where its Chairman seemed to be the judge and the executioner. Anyway, I think many people are not impressed of SELCAT handling of the sand issue brought out by MP Mike as commented even by Haris Ibrahim
here - SELCAT; Selective Competency, Accountability and Transparency. That being said, I do not think SELCAT would give away its powers happily just like that.

I hope the BN legislators check out the offer by the Pakatan first before they take up the State PAC Chairman Post, while its good to "baik sangka" but then again I would be wary of "Greeks bearing gifts".

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