The Speaker, Pandikar Amin Mulia, stated that the MPs, not the Speaker, made the decision to suspend Getang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang from the Dewan Rakyat. His claim is not entirely true.
He is trying to extricate himself and convey the impression that he was blameless in this episode. But he had a hand in this unjust suspension.
The Speaker cannot push the blame to others and absolve himself for Lim Kit Siang’s suspension from Parliament. Try as he may, he cannot escape the fact that he was primarily responsible for this eventuality. He set the ball rolling. The others took the cue from him.
Mr Speaker, Sir, you said, “Please tell Gelang Patah, the next time he comes, he must apologise unconditionally and retract his remarks as he had said that I abused my powers as Speaker. This is an insult of the first degree. If he refuses, a motion will be tabled and he will be suspended if the House passes it.”
Evidence shows that you initiated this suspension, Mr Speaker, Sir. It was your insistence that resulted in Kit Siang’s suspension. You wanted a motion to be tabled if there was no apology. And so a motion was tabled to suspend Kit Siang.
With regard to your ruling putting the meeting of the PAC on hold, Kit Siang disagreed with your decision. He reiterated, “There are no provisions to give the Speaker authority to stop a special committee such as PAC from holding meetings.”
He pursued this issue by way of a question addressed to Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (Amanah-Sepang), seeking his view as to whether the Speaker’s ruling in connection with the PAC was tantamount to abuse of power as it delayed the 1MDB investigation unreasonably: “There are no provisions to give the Speaker authority to stop a special committee such as PAC from holding meetings.
“Does the Honourable Member for Sepang (Hanipa Maidin) agree the abuse of power by the Speaker should not have taken place and this is a sabotage of investigations into 1MDB,” stated Kit Siang.
Kit Siang was merely asking for an opinion. It is difficult to understand how a query can be accepted as a statement of fact!
Kit Siang did not make a direct accusation. From the facts it would appear that he did not address you and say that you had abused your position and that you had delayed the 1MDB investigation. (Hanipa Maidin apparently did not confirm this otherwise he too would have been cited for insulting the Speaker!)
According to Kit Siang, “What I said when I sought clarification from the MP for Sepang, Mohamed Hanipa bin Maidin, who was speaking on the debate on the appointment of the Chairman of Public Accounts Committee was whether he agreed that the Speaker has no powers under the Standing Orders to stop the Public Accounts Committee, in the absence of a PAC Chairman, from continuing with its 1MDB investigations and which was therefore an abuse of power.”
Mr Speaker, Sir, had you accepted Kit Siang’s explanation in good faith as to what he meant by his remarks, the matter would have ended there and then. But no, you wanted that apology that you demanded irrespective of Kit Siang’s clarification, and it seems that you had achieved your declared intention to suspend him.
Malaysians are not convinced by your attempt to wash your hands off this unjust action under Section 27(c) of the Standing Orders.
If Kit Siang had been referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee under Section 80(A) of the Standing Orders, Malaysians would have accepted the outcome because Kit Siang would have been given a chance to defend himself. As it stands, he was convicted without the benefit of defence – which was totally unfair to him.
The 107 Barisan Nasional MPs have concurred with the Speaker and have suspended Kit Siang.
But tens of thousands of Malaysians outside Parliament think otherwise and will remember this injustice that had robbed the voice of the people so unfairly and undemocratically.
Let’s take comfort in Terence MacSwiney’s* words, “It is not those who can inflict the most, but those who can suffer the most who will prevail.”
Aliran executive committee member
25 October 29015
* Terence James MacSwiney was an Irish playwright, author, politician and freedom fighter. Coincidentally, he passed away on this day, 25 October, in 1920 after 74 days on a hunger strike.