Incoming PAC to decide on inquest into Covid-19 vaccine procurement

DIANA OTHMAN
DIANA OTHMAN
17 Feb 2023 12:35pm
Photo for illustration purposes only - Source: 123RF
Photo for illustration purposes only - Source: 123RF
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SHAH ALAM - The next Public Accounts Committee (PAC) can decide whether to conduct further investigations into the procurements of Covid-19 vaccines based on the findings of the white paper that will be presented in Parliament.

Its former chairman Wong Kah Woh said in a statement today that the soon to be established 15th Parliamentary PAC can decide on further investigations as the previous committee had already initiated inquests into the issue.

The previous PAC had also presented the PAC report and the report on follow-up actions on Dec 1, 2021 and March 24, 2022 respectively.

"Further investigations on any issue and follow-up actions are important in strengthening the PAC's position as a crucial check and balance institution," he said.

Wong was commenting on the statement made by the Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday regarding the Health Ministry's White Paper on the Procurement of Covid-19 Vaccines.

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said questioning the Health Ministry's procurement of Covid-19 vaccines is similar to questioning the PAC's credibility.

This is as the PAC had already conducted investigations into the procurement and price, and concluded that everything was above board.

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He said the committee's 521-page report on its investigations had said both the processes involved and the prices paid followed procedures.

Recently, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said a Health Ministry analysis had revealed that the procurement did not follow the stipulated procedures and was signed off without the consent of the attorney-general.

He said a white paper on the matter would be tabled before the Cabinet as soon as possible.

However, former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin denied Anwar's statement saying that the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines were brought before the Cabinet so the Attorney-General would have been aware of the agreements which the government had entered into.