Pandora Papers: Anwar says speaker is behaving like a defence counsel

13-Oct-2021 Intellasia | Malaysiakini | 5:02 AM Print This Post

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim (Pakatan Harapan-Port Dickson) tried and failed once more to get the Dewan Rakyat to debate the expose on the Pandora Papers, in the process accusing speaker Azhar Azisan Harun of playing defence counsel for those exposed by the revelations.

Opposition Leader Anwar has been persistently thwarted in his attempts to debate the matter and today was no different.

“As far as I know, the Pandora Papers is not about hoarding money or spending billions offshore. It’s about the shareholdings of several individuals in offshore companies. Those are two different issues,” Azhar said.

He responded to Anwar’s accusation by saying that he was merely stating facts straight and said that he is sticking to his decision.

Last Monday, Anwar submitted an emergency motion to the Dewan Rakyat, requesting the house to debate the controversial Pandora Papers, which revealed the offshore financial assets and business associates of former finance minister Daim Zainuddin.

Anwar said: “I have sent a motion under Clause 18(1) of the Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Order. I urge the house to immediately debate this urgent issue as it has mentioned some big names in the country. What was revealed by the Pandora Papers is of public interest as the report also named the government and opposition political figures.

“The matter needs to be expedited as what was revealed in the Pandora Papers required immediate clarification to clear the government’s reputation from any allegation that it would cover up Malaysians who were allegedly involved in international money transactions.”

Financial secrets

Apart from Daim, Anwar also named, in a letter sent to Azhar, the four ministers, a deputy minister and MPs owning offshore accounts, as revealed in the Pandora Papers.

They include Finance minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, his deputy minister Yamani Hafez Musa, Bagan Datuk MP Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Selayang MP William Leong.

The Pandora Papers obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed the financial secrets of 35 current and former world leaders, more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories and a global lineup of fugitives, con artists and murderers.

Azhar then ruled that the allegations ought to be scrutinised by a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) or a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) instead.

Last week when former finance minister Lim Guan Eng asked how Malaysia intended to retrieve funds that were deposited in foreign offshore accounts, current Finance minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz seemed to sidestep the question by saying that as long as due diligence is observed, Malaysians can open bank accounts outside the country.


Category: Malaysia

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