By WANI MUTHIAH
SHAH ALAM: Sungai Burung assemblyman Datuk Shamsudin Lias of Barisan Nasional has been appointed the new Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman by the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Selangor legislative assembly.
The motion to appoint Shamsudin was unanimously supported by all Pakatan elected representatives.
The unprecedented move to appoint an opposition member to head PAC is said to ensure a check-and-balance system in the state administration.
Debating the motion, Opposition chief Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said Shamsudin’s role as the PAC chairman could be an uphill task with only one other Barisan representative in the seven-member team.
“If the move is sincere, let the position be strengthened as there cannot be a check and balance if there is only one other member from Barisan,” he said.
The other Barisan member in PAC is Semenyih assemblyman Johan Abdul Aziz.
Met later, Dr Mohd Khir said Shamsudin would assume the position on a trial basis to see if it would work out well.
(He had said during the debate that the appointment would only be accepted if the state assembly agreed to appoint four opposition members into PAC).
“But since the motion has already been passed, Shamsudin will take up the position on a trial basis for three months,” he said.
He said the Barisan side decided on Wednesday about wanting more representation in the PAC.
However, Dr Mohd Khir also praised Speaker Teng Chang Khim for appointing an opposition member as the PAC chairman.
“Teng is a good person. This is a good gesture towards us,” he said.
(Both men were previously known for their battles when Teng was the state Opposition chief during Dr Mohd Khir’s tenure as Mentri Besar.)
Teng, when approached by the media later, said Barisan’s request for more Barisan representation was unexpected.
“I had a meeting with Dr Mohd Khir about the appointment three weeks ago and he had agreed to it. We went ahead to table the motion based on his agreement.
“He did not say anything then about wanting to increase the number of opposition members in the PAC,” he said.
Teng explained that the regulations stated that the membership in PAC was based on the ratio of elected representatives in the House.
“Since the motion has been passed, (they) can decline to assume duty but this does not affect the validity of the motion unless another motion is moved to revoke it,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Mohd Khir made a “grand appearance” at the state assembly after a year-long hiatus.
He was suspended in July last year for failing to attend a hearing by the Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency and also for allegedly attacking the committee in the media.
Surrounded by Barisan elected representatives, Dr Mohd Khir said he would be actively participating in the debates