(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, should be allowed, within the confines of Kajang Prisons, to continue to discharge his Parliamentary duties to attend to the grievances and problems of his constituents as he is still full and legal Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka until Sept. 8, and even after that date, if there is a petition for pardon to the Yang di Pertuan Agong.
I am not in any way suggesting that Guan Eng should be treated any differently from other prisoners at the Kajang Prisons, as in being allowed to leave Kajang Prisons to meet his constituents. Nothing is further from my mind.
However, within the confines of the Kajang Prisons, where he is Prisoner 6561/98, Guan Eng should be allowed to receive grievances and problems of his constituents, and to write to the various authorities concerned to intercede on their behalf, so long as he remains the full and lawful Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka.
I must confess that I had all along thought that Guan Eng would be disqualified as Member of Parliament from the time the Federal Court confirmed the Court of Appeal judgement of 36-month jail sence and overlooked the constitutional amendment which provided that he would continue as MP for Kota Melaka for two weeks, i.e. until Sept. 8, and even after that date, if there is a petition for pardon to the Yang di Pertuan Agong until the petition is rejected.
ALIRAN has called on the Yang di Pertuan Agong to grant a full pardon to Guan Eng on 31 August 1998 in the interest of justice, "which would be something that many Malaysians would welcome on this auspicious day".
Last night, the Council for Justice, Freedom, Democracy and Good Governance launched a nation-wide mass signature campaign for the people to appeal to the Yang di Pertuan Agong to pardon Lim Guan Eng so that he would not be disqualified as a Member of Parliament and could continue to serve the nation and people.
These signatures must be collected latest by Sept. 6, which means in practical effect, there are only some ten days for the mass signature campaign. I do not know how many signatures can be collected in these ten days - 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, 50,000 or 100,000?
Be that as it may, this is an opportunity for Malaysians to do their part if they feel strongly that Guan Eng was a victim of injustice and the Yang di Pertuan Agong should pardon him so that he would not be disqualified as a Member of Parliament to continue his good work for the people and country, both inside and outside Parliament.