First thing Parliament should do tomorrow is to revoke the six-month suspension of Fong Po Kuan as MP for Batu Gajah  without allowance


Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Ipoh,  Monday):  The first thing Parliament should do when it meets tomorrow to begin its working session after the official opening by the Yang di Pertuan Agong today is to revoke the six-month suspension of Fong Po Kuan as MP for Batu Gajah without allowance as its unfair, unjust and undemocratic , reflecting a worsening instead of improving of functioning democracy in Malaysia. 

The suspension of a Member of  Parliament without allowance is unheard-of in Commonwealth Parliaments and the question is why Malaysia should set such a bad precedent instead of setting the good  example of greater democratisation and more respect for human rights in conformity with the  principle and the best practice  of parliamentary democracy? 

The motion by the Minister in the  Prime Ministerís Department, Datuk Dr.Rais Yatim on  December 11, 2001 to suspend Fong Po Kuan for six months without allowance  for publicly criticising the Speaker, Tun Zahir Mohamad Ismail, for rejecting her motion of urgent, definite public importance on the Certificate in Practice (CLP) examinations scandal is most petty, unfair and vindictive, especially as two weeks earlier, Rais had publicly ridiculed   the Speaker  as "not privy to the constitutional procedures" for the appointment of Datuk Abdul Gani Patail as the new Attorney-General when giving reasons for rejecting DAP MP for Seputeh, Teresa Koh's motion of urgent, definite public importance on the public controversy over the constitutionality and propriety of Gani's appointment. 

Fong had merely complained that the Speaker was unfair in rejecting her attempt to move a motion on the CLP examination scandal, while Rais had shown total disrespect and contempt in publicly saying that the Speaker did not know what he was talking about - and Rais should be the first to be punished and even more severely  than  Fong if Malaysia is to create a new precedent of immunity for the Speaker from any public criticism or disrespect. 

If Parliament is not prepared to uphold democracy and restore justice to Fong Po Kuan to rescind the motion  to suspend her status as MP for six months without allowance, then the voters of Ketari should speak loud and clear on behalf of all Malaysian voters in the forthcoming Ketari by-election to demonstrate their support for Fong Po Kuan and disapproval of her victimisation.

(11/3/2002)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman