Speakers' Corner: Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site.

Activity Detrimental To Parliamentary Democracy

Something of a mouthful it might be thought but those so thinking should realise that the words are the heading to Section 124 of the Malaysian Penal Code. one subsection of which prescribes twenty years jail on conviction.

Anyone with any responsibility for the management of Parliament, be they Member or parliamentary servant must ensure that their conduct does not in any way breach this section of the law.

For example, as any student of Erskine May will confirm, attempts to prevent Parliament sitting or transacting its business could come within the ambit of this Penal Code provision.

If notice of a motion is given in the approved manner and is rejected by any Parliamentary official (and that would include the Speaker) that could result in a prosecution under this Penal Code section, which, incidentally, carries a maximum sentence of twenty years upon conviction.

Leaving speculation and gossip to one side there has recently been a spate of forecasts that no time would be found in the forthcoming session of Parliament for a motion of “no confidence” in the PN administration.

That may be so or it may be without foundation. The Speaker  could, and should, without delay, clarify the position publicly to dispel any apprehension as to what would, if correct, amount to a coup d’etat and a stifling of democratic process.

It is to be hoped that an official statement either from the Speaker or from the Prime Minister will issue at once dismissing all possibility of such a perversion of democratic parliamentary practice and procedure.

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