The outrageous parliamentary six-month suspension of four Pakatan Rakyat leaders, Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Permatang Pauh), DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh (Bukit Gelugor), PKR Deputy President Mohd Azmin Ali (Gombak) and PKR lawyer R. Sivarasa (Subang) in international consultancy firm APCO’s role in the “1Israel” “1Malaysia” controversy committed five cardinal injustices, viz:
Firstly, although Anwar was referred to the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges, he was denied of the full opportunity to substantiate his parliamentary speech linking 1Malaysia to APCO and the One Israel concept as the Barisan Nasional majority in the Commtitee of Privileges perversely decided to rely solely on a letter from APCO as the basis to penalize Anwar;
Secondly, the refusal of the Chairman of the Committee of Privileges, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to accept the minority report prepared by Karpal and Sivarasa as part of the report of the Committee of Privileges to the House, demonstrating bias, unfairness and utter disregard of parliamentary conventions and accepted practices.
Thirdly, without giving Karpal, Azmin and Sivarasa notice and the fundamental right to be heard as referring them to the Committee of Privileges before charging them in Parliament for parliamentary contempt alleging that they had revealed information privy to the Committee of Privileges – going against the principles of natural justice.
Fourthly, forcing through the passage of the motion to suspend Anwar Ibrahim as MP for six months without any debate, which is completely unprecedented and unheard-of not only in the Malaysian Parliament but also in Parliaments of developed democracies.
Fifthly, the blatant conflict of interest committed by Pandikar in chairing the parliamentary proceeding to suspend Anwar, Karpal, Azmin and Sivarasa when he is also the Chairman of the Committee of Privileges and therefore party to the punitive actions against the four PR leaders.
I was not in Parliament on Thursday as I was in Bangkok with Dr. Chen Man Hin, Fong Kui Lun and Lee Kaw to attend the funeral service of Sdr. Fan Yew Teng, a great patriot who had always been a champion of the oppressed.
The outrageous parliamentary proceeding on Thursday to trample on all parliamentary conventions and practices and breach the fundamental rules of natural justice to suspend the four PR leaders from Parliament for six months is the latest proof that the Barisan Nasional government has not learnt from the lessons of the 308 political tsunami in the 2008 general elections which was a clear vote for national reforms to end the arrogance of power of unbroken Umno/BN rule for over half a century and that Umno/BN is incapable of change despite all the sloganeering of 1Malaysia, Government Transformation Programme, New Economic Model and Economic Transformation Programme.
It is now left to the Malaysian people to use their vote in the next general elections, which is not far away, to administer the full lesson by sending an unmistakable message that the country needs wide-ranging reforms and institutional changes, including Parliament, if Malaysia is to fulfill her promise to take her rightful place in the international arena as an united, competitive, progressive and prosperous nation in the international arena.
**Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Serdang DAP Branch anniversary dinner in Selangor on Friday, 17th December 2010