No need for RCI to solve every single mishap, says former PAC vice-chairman

AUDREY VIJAINDREN

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Public Accounts Committee (PAC) vice-chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw said there was no need to start a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) for ‘every single mishap’ which happens in the country. He said the Federal Constitution - which defined the rule of law and separation of powers, was adequate to settle issues and the establishment of any RCI should be based on “meaningful criteria”. “Is the government ruled by RCI? Do we need a RCI for every mishap? You can’t have a RCI about every issue; otherwise the whole administration will just be working on RCIs. “There must be some sort of standard, for example issues over RM1 billion or more than RM20 million, otherwise other methods of investigations should be explored,” he said. The veteran DAP member said this in response to former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s recommendation to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to set up a RCI for both the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other tax issues immediately, because it involved RM35 billion in government funds. Tan said the government must get to them bottom of such issues as nobody should misuse public funds. “Having said that, if you want to accuse people of misappropriation of funds, find the evidence and charge them in court,” he said. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng recently announced that RM16.046 billion in outstanding tax refunds had not been returned by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) over the past six years. The outstanding tax refunds involved 1,653,786 cases of companies, individuals, societies and foundations. Following the revelation, Najib had urged the government to set up a RCI to get to the bottom of several issues that his administration had been accused of. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd