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Committee of Privileges tomorrow  should ensure that Karpal is given right to appear personally and to be represented by counsel
 


Media Conference Statement (2)
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after the end of the 240km trek by Li Sinís eight stalwart against corruption and lodging of police report at the Kuantan Police Station by Li Sin alleging RM20 million logging corruption allegation against Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakb
by Lim Kit Siang

(Kuantan, Thursday): Committee of Privileges meeting tomorrow  should ensure that DAP MP for Bukit Gelugor, Karpal Singh, is given the right to appear before the committee to defend himself and to be represented by counsel,  in accordance with established parliamentary precedent and convention both in Malaysia and the Commonwealth. 

This is important as the Committee of Privileges must not only dispense justice but be seen to be acting fairly and justly, abiding by the rule of natural justice. This reminder is pertinent as Karpal has been asked to give a written submission to justify the allegation that he has abused parliamentary privilege even before the Committee of Privilege has met, as well as press statement that there is no need  for Karpal to appear personally before the Committee of Privileges.

 

In the present parliament, the Barisan Nasional has an unprecedented 9/10 parliamentary majority, which post a great threat to the healthy growth of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia. Yesterday, the position of the Parliamentary Opposition has been further weaken by the extraordinary result of the election petition with regard to the Pasir Putih parliamentary seat, reducing opposition seats in parliament to less than nine percent. In the circumstances, the ruling majority should be even more mindful of established parliamentary precedents and conventions of the fundamental rights and privileges of MPs in cases such as the reference of Karpal Singh to the Committee of Privileges so that it would not be seen as a mighty majority imposing its will regardless of the rights and wrongs of an issue.

(24/6/2004)


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman