Shocking that Pandikar turns role of speaker ‘upside down’

Pandikar turns role of speaker ‘upside down’, says Lim

Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia has undermined the image of a speaker when he suggested three former cabinet ministers had broken their oath of secrecy, says DAP’s Lim Kit Siang.

“I was utterly shocked when I read his comment yesterday,” said the DAP parliamentary leader in a statement.

Pandikar made the remark at a press conference when asked if the speeches in Parliament by former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, ex-second finance minister Husni Hanadzlah, and ex-rural and regional development minister Shafie Apdal – all of which touched on 1MDB – had breached House rules.

“What I heard the other day is that the cabinet’s decision had not been carried out. That is (secret) cabinet information,” said Pandikar.

However, Lim begged to disagree. He contended that the trio had not broken any oath of secrecy and argued that it was Pandikar’s own personal opinion that the oath had been violated.

“Pandikar should know that although he holds the elevated office of speaker, he is not a judge in a court of law,” he said.

Muhyiddin has previously highlighted in Parliament how the cabinet was not consulted on the formation of 1MDB and was kept in the dark about its finances until the scandal broke out.

“Is this a state secret when everybody concerned about the 1MDB scandal would have known about it?” asked the Gelang Patah MP.

“Husni, meanwhile, questioned why 1MDB was formed, and asked how its scandals would affect Malaysia’s image.

“Is this such a crime that the speaker should suggest action by the executive (against Husni)?” he asked.

The DAP veteran also reminded Pandikar the importance of doctrine of the separation of powers and his responsibility as speaker to jealously safeguard the independence and integrity of the legislative arm from any usurpation or encroachment by the executive.

“I do not know what to make of Pandikar’s comments because they undermined public perception and image of the speaker’s integrity and independence from the executive when he publicly suggested that,” he said.

“Is Pandikar subtly suggesting to the executive, and in particular the attorney-general and the inspector-general of police, to initiate actions against Muhyiddin, Shafie and Husni under the Official Secrets Act or other laws?

“Where in the world do we have a Parliament speaker as good as suggesting to the executive to charge MPs who are former cabinet ministers for their speeches in Parliament for breach of cabinet secrecy?” he asked.

As MPs, Lim said, the three former ministers are protected by parliamentary privilege for what they say in Parliament, except in the rare occasion of violating the ban on “sensitive” issues under the Sedition Act.

“It is sad and shocking that Pandikar seems to have turned the role of speaker upside down.

“Instead of protecting members of parliament from any encroachment from the executive, he seems to be siding with the executive against MPs even to the extent of suggesting executive actions against them.”

Pandikar turns role of speaker ‘upside down’, says Lim
28 Oct 2016 – malaysiakini


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