Speakers Ought Speak For Parliament

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia today said questions related to the United States Department of Justice’s (DoJ) civil complaint on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) should not be answered in the present sitting as it is tantamount to subjudice.

He said the issue is still a court matter and therefore, the minister involved (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) should not answer related questions.

Pandikar said he would instead give a written explanation on his decision today to those who had submitted questions on DoJ’s civil complaint. “I have made my decision, unless there is a private motion (on the issue). “I did not make the decision in haste, but it was made after taking into account the legal implications on the country involved. “Whatever decision made in this sitting will also be known by those in other countries due the advancement of information technology,” he said.

His decision however, was questioned by Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Gelang Patah) and Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong), who claimed that the proceedings were not in Malaysia and Pandikar’s controversial ruling would set a precedent to similar cases in the future.

In his firm response, Pandikar said both DAP members of parliament should first read the written answer before making any allegations against him. “We do not want to create a negative perception before the time comes for the minister involved to answer the questions,” he said.

Our comment

One assumes that the holder of the august office of Speaker cannot be ignorant or that at least his advisors cannot be so.

Therefore, one can only lament that he is exploiting ignorance in others and cultivating the dissemination of false information about the law.

Sub-judice rulings exist to prevent the influencing of juries in criminal cases. As Malaysian Government officials have repeatedly said, so far the 1MDB case in America is not a criminal case.

Furthermore, although the vast majority of Malaysians rightfully believe there ought to be a case under way in Malaysia relating to this matter, there is not.  So, it is not sub-judice on those grounds either.

So, sadly the Speaker is talking nonsense and it is plain it is in order to slap silence on a subject that ought to be of primary importance in Parliament and which the Prime Minister ought to answer to.

The reason for his behaviour is obvious. In real Parliamentary democracies the Speaker is chosen by MPs to represent them and ensure fair play.

In Malaysia the Speaker is appointed by none other than the Prime Minister himself, to represent him and to shut up anybody causing difficulties to him by doing their job in representing the people in Parliament.

By silencing Parliamentarians on the subject of primary importance of the day the Speaker is indulging in Activities Detrimental to Democracy, which is the charge Najib has laid against this blog for exposing his own criminal thefts.

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