I arrived in Tunis together with DAP MPs Teresa Kok (Siputeh), Zairil Khir Johari (Bukit Bendera) and Steven Sim Kee Cheong (Bukit Mertajam) after a 14-hour flight from KLIA to news of more unprecedented developments in the country, as if to confirm that the country is approaching a “perfect storm” with a multitude of political, economic, good governance and nation-building crises coming to a head.
What is noteworthy in Kuala Lumpur today is not just the subject of the extraordinary and most unjustified use of Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) against Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang, which must be condemned by all justice-loving Malaysians, but the gathering of former “big guns” of the ruling coalition led by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir and his arch rival Tengku Raleigh Hamzah, former Deputy Prime Minister and current UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, former Rural and Regional Development Minister and current UMNO National Vice President Datuk Shafie Apdal, former Cabinet Minister and former UMNO Secretary-General Tan Sri Sanusi Junid and two ex-MCA Presidents Tun Ling Liong Sik (although not personally present) and Datuk Seri Ong Tee Kiat.
As Tengku Razaleigh, Muhyiddin and Shafie are currently Members of Parliament, I suggest the trio should sponsor a motion in Parliament for debate and voting by the end of the month (as only two-weeks notice is required for any motion to be tabled in Parliament), to demand the immediate release of Khairuddin and Chang as it is gross abuse of power to use Sosma against them for asking foreign governments to investigate the 1MDB scandal in their respective countries.
I fully agree with Mahathir and the former UMNO/BN government “big guns” that it was “shameful” for someone accused of a wrongdoing not to defend himself but to persecute others instead.
Razaleigh, Muhyiddin and Shafie should sponsor a motion calling for the immediate release of Khairuddin and Chang, as Parliament and Cabinet had been assured that Sosma legislation would only be used to deal with terrorism.
Shafie confirmed today that this guarantee that it would not be used for political reasons was given to the Cabinet in 2012 and all Members of Parliament in 2012 can confirm that such a guarantee was given to Parliament when the Sosma legislation was debated in Parliament.
Although Pakatan Harapan Leadership Council had not met on this issue, I dare say that Razaleigh, Muhyiddin and Shafie can be assured of 72 votes from Pakatan Harapan Members of Parliament from DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara – and the trio should work on securing a simple majorityl for such a motion, especially from UMNO MPs as well as Barisan Nasional MPs in Sabah and Sarawak.
Will any MPs from MCA, Gerakan and MIC support such a motion? It is for them to speak up.
Malaysians would like to know who, apart from Tengku Razaleigh, Muhyiddin and Shafie, would vote for a motion in Parliament to condemn the abuse of Sosma against Khairuddin and Chang and to demand their immediate release.
An absolute simple majority would mean 112 votes out of 222 Members of Parliament, I.e.getting 37 votes apart from the 72 votes from Pakatan Harapan and their three votes, but in actual voting, there is no need to get 112 votes, as what is needed is a simple majority of the total MPs in the House when the motion is voted on – which is unlikely to be the “full house” of 222 votes.
The question is whether there are UMNO/BN Mps who dare to stand out to declare their support if Tengku Razaleigh, Muhyiddin and Shafie sponsor a motion to condemn the use of Sosma agaisnt Khairuddin and Chang and to demand their immediate release.
(Media Statement in Tunis on Monday, October 12, 2015)