Today is supposed to be a historic day for the Malaysian Parliament with the debut of the half-hour Minister’s Question Time (MQT), touted as the most significant of the Speaker’s parliamentary reforms.
I have however boycotted the debut of the MQT in protest against the parliamentary charade pretending that Malaysia’s infamy for being a “global kleptocracy” does not exist.
I had submitted a question for the MQT debut today to ask the Prime Minister what action the government was taking to cleanse and purge the national infamy of being regarded world-wide as a “global kleptocracy”.
This question was rejected by the Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia for today’s MQT.
After the Speaker’s ruling yesterday barring all questions on the US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit filed on July 20 seeking forfeiture of US$1billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from over US$3 billion international embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of 1MDB funds on the ground that it is “sub judice”, the rejection of my question for the MQT would appear to be part of a blatant and unashamed attempt to censor and outlaw all debate, discussion or question not only about the DOJ action but anything concerning 1MDB and Malaysia’s infamous and iniquitous appellation as a “global kleptocracy” in the Malaysian Parliament.
I fully agree with former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hishammuddin Mohd Yunus who asked what “sub judice” was the Speaker talking about, as Ministers should not be “barred” from answering questions in Parliament on the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil suit involving the alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds for the reason of sub judice.
I would not use the word “barred” and instead substitute it with “saved”, as Hishammuddin’s question was exactly the one I asked Pandikar when he made the shocking ruling yesterday – how can the “sub judice” meant for Malaysian courts and judges be applied in a litigation overseas!
Hishamudin Mohd Yunus is right when he said the question of sub judice does not arise at all.
He said: “This is because it is a foreign hearing. The sub judice rule applies in relation to hearing in Malaysian courts.”
Today’s incident where the Speaker followed up his arbitrary ruling yesterday barring all questions about the US DOJ action with rejection of the question on Malaysia’s infamy of being regarded world-wide as a “global kleptocracy” for the MQT seemed to be part of an scheme to censor and outlaw all discussion on the Prime Minister’s 1MDB global financial scandal.
The Speaker should realise that the US DOJ action was taken under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative (KARI) and which is why Malaysia had ignominiously earned the epithet of a “global kleptocracy” – making Pandikar the Parliament Speaker of a global kleptocracy.
This is nothing to be proud of – in fact, it should be matter of great shame and outrage!
I reiterate that history will not look kindly at the 13th Parliament if it pretends that the 1MDB financial scandal and infamy of Malaysia as “global kleptocracy” are not burning issues at all.
I maintain that all patriotic Malaysians who love the country deeply and passionately must feel ashamed and outraged that since the May meeting of Parliament some five months ago, Malaysia had acquired the international infamy being a “global kleptocracy”, especially after the July 20 lawsuit initiated by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to forfeit over US$1 billion of 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from over US$3 billion international embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of 1MDB funds and the recent actions by the Swiss and Singapore financial regulatory authorities to either close down banks or institute criminal proceedings in connection with 1MDB money-laundering crimes.
DAP MP for Puchong Gobind Singh Deo will file a substantive motion under Standing Order 43 to review the Speaker’s ruling barring all questions on US DOJ forfeiture action on the ground of “sub judice” and I hope that the Speaker will ensure that such a substantive motion will be allotted time for debate after 48 hours’ notice.