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Speaker should give precedence to privilege motion to refer Rafidah to Committee of Privileges for selective, incomplete, misleading and mischievous written reply on APs scandal so that it could be debated on Monday
Yesterday morning, the Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah, used a very technical ground going against established Commonwealth parliamentary conventions and practices to disallow my privilege motion to refer Rafidah to the Committee of Privileges without having to give prior notice under Standing Order 26(1)(p).
Although an ordinary motion under Standing Order 27(3) requires not less than 14 days’ notice, I call on Ramli to give priority to the privilege motion against Rafidah to allow it to be debated on Monday, which is within his powers as Speaker in accordance with established Commonwealth parliamentary practices and conventions with regard to the Speaker’s powers to accord precedence to urgent important privilege motions to protect the dignity and public standing of Parliament.
After my attempt yesterday morning to move a motion without notice to refer Rafidah to the Committee of Privileges failed, several UMNO, Sarawak and Sabah MPs came up to me to express their support of what I had said, with some of them passionately contending that Rafidah had committed a grave breach of privilege in trying to arm-twist and silence MPs from speaking up on the APs scandal.
In fact, history-of-sorts was made when one Cabinet Minister publicly berated another for gross parliamentary dereliction of duty, i.e. the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz went on record to publicly express the “displeasure” and “anger” of most Barisan Nasional MPs with Rafidah for her absence from Parliament and failure to give a satisfactory accounting for the multitude of questions about the long-running APs saga.
If Rafidah does not come to Parliament on Monday to submit herself to parliamentary scrutiny on the APs scandal, then she may not need to come to Parliament anymore as she would no longer be welcome by MPs, whether Barisan Nasional or Opposition.
Yesterday was the day when blog history was made in Parliament.
I had posted on my blog, http://limkitsiang.blogspot.com/, what transpired during question on Wednesday over the APs question under the heading “Tun Mahathir a mere trouble maker?” at 9.41 pm on Wednesday night..
At 10.17 p.m, a visitor Carboncopy posted the announcement on my blog that he was “in the process of data entry the list” of 337 MPs/ex-MPs issued with APs into a spreadsheet so that data analysis can be done on it. He pointed out that Senator Yew Teong Look had two APs.
At 2.17 am, he posted another find with double APs – ex-Senator Udam @ George Adam Talek.
At 3.18 am, he posted six double APs receipients and named them.
When I saw his posting early yesterday morning, I commended him for “Very good work…for performing a most valuable public service” and promised to highlight his findings in Parliament.
At 11.10 am, at the close of the question-hour in Parliament yesterday, I used Carboncopy’s findings to invoke Standing Order 26(1)(p) to move a privilege motion without having to give prior notice to refer Rafidah Aziz to the Committee of Privileges.
As I told Parliament yesterday, blogging in Malaysia has come of age, with Malaysian bloggers able to directly influence events.
The following is the privilege motion which I had submitted formally to the Speaker yesterday after my attempt to raise it without notice under S.O. 26(1)(p) was disallowed:
“That the House refers Member of Parliament for Kuala Kangsar and Minister for International Trade and Industry, YB Rafidah Aziz, to the Committee of Privileges to inquire whether there is any breach of privilege in her written answer to YB Ketua Pembangkang and MP for Ipoh Timor Lim Kit Siang on 20th September 2005 when answering the question on ‘the abuses in the issue of APs to import cars, why the sudden jump in the issue of APs in 2004 and 2005 as compared to previous years, and release the full APs lists since 1987 including individual APs’, for the following reasons:
1. Yew Teong Look – Parliamentary Secretary for Federal Territories [No. 89 and 94 for 2001]
2. Ex-Senator Udam @ George Adam Talek [146 and 175] – 2002
3. Ex-Senator Nosimah binti Hashim [29 and 258] - 2000,2004
4. Senator Safinah binti Jusoh [76 and 274] - 2001,2005
5. Senator Siti Zailah bt Mohd Yusof [79 and 238] - 2001,2004
Senator Abdul Karim bin Abdul Ghani [44 and 243] - 2000,2004
Whether the selective release of the list of AP receipients confined only to MPs from 2000 to September 2005 was meant to distract attention from the APs scandal, or even more serious, as felt by Barisan Nasional MPs and expressed in a report in the Star today in the article “MPs want Rafidah to personally address AP issue” by Joceline Tan which reported that some Barisan Nasional MPs ‘thought that Miti’s release of the list was meant as a slap in their faces, a sort of reminder that they have also benefited from the system and should think twice before pointing fingers at Miti’ – which is a serious breach of parliamentary privilege in arm-twisting and intimidating MPs from carrying out their parliamentary duties to hold the Minister for International Trade and Industry to strict scrutiny and account, especially as she has become a Minister most infamous for refusing to come to Parliament to recognize the principle of Executive responsibility to Parliament.”
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman