KUALA LUMPUR: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has expressed concerns over an article that reportedly quoted a witness who appeared before a committee hearing on the littoral combat ship (LCS) project.
PAC chairman Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said in a statement today that the article titled "Kurangkan kapal LCS jimat kos- Saksi" published by Utusan Malaysia today was in violation of Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 85 (PM 85).
"The article clearly violates Standing Order 85 of the Dewan Rakyat Meeting Regulations which clearly states that 'Information taken before a Select Committee and any letter issued to it cannot be published by any member of the Committee that, or by anyone, before the Committee brings the statement to the Council'.
"I am upset about the article as it can clearly interfere with the investigation, conclusion and recommendation of the PAC for this proceeding."
She added that she has written a letter to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul to inform him about the violation of PM 85 and request guidance.
Mas Ermieyati also called on everyone to respect the PAC's investigations and only obtain statements regarding the issue from the committee.
"I call on all parties, especially the mass media, to respect the investigative proceedings by the PAC and to only obtain any official statement from the PAC itself.
"The PAC also will hold a press conference every Thursday on the day of the Dewan Rakyat session to inform about the progress of the PAC proceedings as what I had explained during the committee's press conference on June 8," she said.
The committee is currently holding hearings on the progress of the second-generation littoral combat ships (LCS).
The Defence Ministry has been instructed to provide the committee with the latest developments of the project every three months.
The committee will also table the LCS progress report to the Dewan Rakyat every three months
The LCS project has been beset by controversy, with the PAC revealing that no units had been constructed despite the government paying RM6.083 billion to Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS).