(KLIA, Sunday): The rejection of
the pardon petition by the DAP Deputy Secretary-General, Lim Guan Eng to
the Yang di Pertuan Agong for the removal of his disqualification as Member
of Parliament as a result of two convictions and sentences for criminal
offences under the
Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act is not unexpected, although it had not been conducted in a manner whereby justice is not only done, but seen to be done.
When the Malacca Yang di Pertua Negeri rejected Guan Eng's pardon petition on March 20, 1999, the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat, Tun Mohamad Zahir Ismail had said that Guan Eng had lost his status as MP, and that his appeal to the Yang di Pertuan Agong for the removal of his disqualification as MP should be submitted after the rejection of the pardon petition by the Malacca Yang di Pertu Negeri and not before.
If this is the case, then it is most improper for the Yang di Pertuan Agong to be advised to reject Guan Eng's petition for the removal of his parliamentary disqualification which were submitted to the Yang di Pertuan Agong on Sept. 8 last year - at the same time as the submission of the pardon petition to the Malacca Yang di Pertua Negeri - as Guan Eng should have been asked to submit a fresh pardon petition on the removal of his disqualification as MP.
It would appear the government, and in particular, the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah, who had demanded custodial sentences to be imposed on Guan Eng, is in a position of 'heads I win, tails you lose', where notions of justice and fair play are conspicuously absent.
For instance, Guan Eng has not been informed of the reasons for the rejection of his petition although 300,000 people had signed the mass signature campaign petition to the Yang di Pertuan Agong on Guan Eng's behalf. The Bar Council, the Human Rights Society (HAK) and scores of NGOs had also petitioned the Yang di Pertuan Agong to remove Guan Eng's parliamentary disqualification as it was his conscientious discharge of his parlimentary duties that he championed the honour, dignity, women's rights and human rights of a 15-year old girl victim of statutory rape - resulting in his present imprisonment and disqualification as MP.
Is it not against all principles of natural justice that the Attorney-General should be a member of the Pardons Board playing such a decisive role in determining the outcome of Guan Eng's petition?
Who were the other three members of the Pardons Board which decided that Guan Eng's petition should be rejected by the Yang di Pertuan Agong, and when did the Pardons Board hold its meeting and were all members of the Pardons Board present?