Malaysia Dateline

Parliament should set up sepecial select committee to investigate into the Pandora Papers

Parliament should set up a special parliamentary select committee to investigate into the Pandora Papers and make recommendations to the government for four reasons:

Firstly, the Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun’s admission that the Pandora Papers were important matters of public interest and should be looked into by a Parliamentary Select Committee; and

Secondly, the Prime Minister has given his commitment that the Federal Government will not interfere with any investigation against individuals whose names were implicated in the Pandora Papers.

Thirdly, the call by Transparency International to all national governments to
“get their own affairs in order” following the release of the Pandora Papers; and

Fourthly, the connection with the 1MDB scandal, which the US Attorney-General at the time has described as “kleptocracy at its worst”.

The Pandora Papers refers to more than 11 million documents from 14 service providers who assist individuals and companies to set up entities in tax havens.

The data dump was made to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who shared access to some 600 journalists globally, including at Malaysiakini.

Among prominent Malaysians named in the Pandora Papers were former finance minister Daim Zainuddin, current Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PKR’s Selayang MP William Leong.

All individuals said their dealings with offshore entities, including owning or sitting on the boards of these companies, were legitimate and that due taxes had been paid for any assets and earnings related to the offshore companies.

In an era of widening authoritarianism and inequality, the Pandora Papers investigation provides an unequalled perspective on how money and power operate in the 21st century – and how the rule of law has been bent and broken around the world by a system of financial secrecy enabled by wealthy nations.

The Parliamentary Select Committee should investigate how deeply secretive finance has infiltrated Malaysian politics – and offer recommendations what the government should do to end offshore financial abuses.

It should be given six months to complete its work.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaffar should undertake the initiative to move a motion for the setting up of such a parliamentary special select committee on the Pandora Papers as well as to amend the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders on the first day of Parliament when MPs reconvened on Oct. 25 to allow the parliamentary select committees to conduct public hearings.
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Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri, Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 16th October 2021.