KUALA LUMPUR, June 18:
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low has admitted that there were two opposition Members of Parliarment (MP) who were barred from attending a briefing session on the second series of the Auditor-General’s Report yesterday.
Low, however, disagreed that the attempt to bar them was deliberate as the programme was specifically held for members of media and heads of various government departments on an invitation basis.
“It’s a question of principle. The opposition MPs have a legitimate platform to raise any questions on the report every time Parliament is in session.
“Again, I have to stress that the session was only open to the media and we hope that such initiatives can be understood and respected by the relevant parties involved,” he said in a statement today.
Low added that his office did not invites any MPs to the briefing to avoid the matter being politicised.
Yesterday, opposition MPs hit out at Low, who is in charge of Governance and Integrity, for having kicked them out of a briefing session.
In a joint statement by PKR’s Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin and PAS’ Kuala Terengganu MP Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin, the MPs said they were warned by staff to not ask questions before entering the briefing session by Low on the Auditor-General’s Report at Menara Integriti at about 2pm yesterday.
However, when the session started, the MPs said they were asked to leave the auditorium in the presence of the media.
“What Datuk Paul Low did was a manipulation of mainstream media to stifle healthy debate.
“This is an excellent way to whitewash the Auditor-General’s Report via ‘special briefing’ for top civil servants and mainstream Umno-controlled media so that the ministers get to explain their failures highlighted in the Auditor-General’s Report,” they said.