Dewan Rakyat maintains decision to reject motion on Pandora Papers debate

Dewan Rakyat maintains decision to reject motion on Pandora Papers debate
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 11): The Dewan Rakyat on Monday maintained its decision to disallow a motion to debate the leaked Pandora Papers claimed to contain also confidential financial files of several prominent figures of the country. 

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s request for the matter to be debated was rejected for the second time by Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun. He 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, saying the Port Dickson Member of Parliament should have cited Standing Order 43 instead.

“I have seen the letter (notice) of Yang Berhormat (Anwar) and I 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 was rejected by me and, as such, I cannot accept it 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 on Monday once again questioned Azhar’s decision to reject the motion, saying it is important for the Pandora Papers to be debated in Parliament. 

Elaborating, Azhar said the Pandora Papers exposure did not touch on the hoarding or transfer of money to offshore companies but rather shareholdings in the 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 shareholdings of several individuals in offshore companies … and not as was raised by Yang Berhormat,” he said.

Anwar, however, questioned Azhar’s explanation and went on to say that 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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