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Sec-Gen Skips PAC Hearing On Eurocopter Deal - malaysiakini




KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 -- The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has put off its hearing on the Eurocopter deal after the Finance Ministry secretary-general did not turn up.

PAC chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said that Thursday's hearing was supposed to discuss the financial aspect of the helicopter purchase but in less than one hour, it had to be postponed because the ministry was only represented by a low-rank officer, namely the under-secretary.

"The person's position is high but not as high as the officer we want; we want the Finance Ministry secretary-general himself to be present.

"This is because as custodian in purchase transactions, finances and so on, the responsibility is on the Finance Ministry secretary-general. So, we postponed today's hearing to Monday, Nov 3," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

He said the PAC viewed the matter seriously because the helicopter purchase was a high-profile issue and required the top-level officer to be present to give explanation during which the officer may be assisted by his subordinates.

Asked whether the secretary-general gave any excuse for his failure to turn up, Azmi said the excuse given was not very convincing.

He said that on Monday, the PAC would also recall the Defence Ministry Technical Division because there were several issues that need to be answered by the people responsible.

He said that at this stage, the PAC saw no necessity to summon the prime minister or his deputy to give briefing regarding the purchase.





Meanwhile, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim called for the setting up of an independent commission to probe into the helicopter purchase.

Establishing the independent commission was the only transparent way in dealing with the issue, he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.


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