Zainal had made this statement in the government reply in the debate on the Third Outline Perspective Plan (2,001-2,010), and in response to the speech by the DAP MP for Seputih, Teresa Kok last Thursday on the Sarawak state government’s human rights violation and breach of the rule of law in its uncaring, unconscionable and inhumane abuse of its state immigration autonomy powers to expel Tan from Sarawak
However, when pressed for details by Kok and DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Kerk Kim Hock, Zainal refused to elaborate on Tan Seng Hin’s anti-government activity claiming that he could not remember all the details and would give a written answer to Kok.
This is most unsatisfactory and unacceptable, another example of the deteriorating standard of Ministerial performance in Parliament. Zainal would have been fully briefed on Tan Seng Hin’s case by Home Ministry officers before he stood up in Parliament to answer the various issues raised by MPs on the Home Ministry during the debate on OPP3, and it is a parliamentary scandal in such circumstances for a government front-bench to claim that he could not remember the details of the case.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, should ensure that all Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries are more serious in their parliamentary duties by being fully prepared on the briefs they have to speak about when they go to Parliament so that no one would commit such a parliamentary gaffe as to say that he could not remember about the details of a case he had to refer to specifically in a debate or question time.
The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should in fact call up Zainal to explain why he had brought disgrace to the Home Ministry by committing such a serious parliamentary blunder in Parliament.
Zainal should have the humility to apologise in Parliament for such a parliamentary gaffe.