Pandikar undermined public perception and image of Speaker’s integrity and independence from the Executive when he suggested that the three former Cabinet Ministers had broken their Cabinet secrecy in their speeches in Parliament


I was utterly shocked when I read of the comments from the Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia yesterday that former cabinet ministers may have broken their oath of Cabinet secrecy when debating the 2017 Budget in Parliament, referring in particular to former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, former Rural and Regional Development Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and the former Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Husni Hadzlah.

Pandikar told a press conference in Parliament yesterday that when he “heard the other day….that the Cabinet’s decision had not been carried out”, it was “(secret) Cabinet information”.

Pandikar said in his experience of being a former minister himself, cabinet members had to take an oath of secrecy.

He said: “We can’t tell (secrets) to anyone. You can’t whisper it to your wife at night.”

He said he knew a lot of secrets himself, but would not divulge them as those who break their oaths cast doubt on their own integrity and conduct.

I do not know what to make of Pandikar’s comments because they undermined public perception and image of the Speaker’s integrity and independence from the Executive when he publicly suggested that the three former Cabinet Ministers had broken their oath of Cabinet secrecy in their speeches in Parliament.

Is Pandikar subtly suggesting to the Executive and in particular the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police to initiate actions against Muhyiddin, Shafie and Husni under the Official Secrets Act or other laws of the land for their alleged breach of their oath of Cabinet secrecy in their speeches during the debate on the 2017 Budget?

Is Pandikar not aware of the important doctrine of the separation of powers of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, and his special responsibility as the Speaker of Parliament to jealously safeguard the independence and integrity of Parliament from any usurpation or encroachment by the Executive?

Where in the world do we have a Parliament Speaker as good as suggesting to the Executive to charge MPs who are former Cabinet Ministers for their speeches in Parliament for breach of Cabinet secrecy?

Muhyiddin in his speech highlighted how the cabinet was not consulted on the formation of 1MDB, and was kept in the dark about its finances until the scandal broke out.

Is this a State secret when everybody concerned about the 1MDB scandal would have known about it?

Husni, meanwhile, questioned why 1MDB was formed, and asked how its scandals would affect Malaysia’s image.

Is this such a crime that the Speaker should suggest action by the Executive?

These are only Pandikar’s personal opinions that Muhyiddin, Shafie and Husni had violated their oath of Cabinet secrecy, but Pandikar should know that although he holds the elevated office of Speaker, he is not a judge in a court of law.

In any event, his view that Muhyiddin, Shafie and Husni had violated their oath of Cabinet secrecy is open to challenge, as I myself cannot see where Muhyiddin, Shafie and Husni had violated their oath of Cabinet secrecy.

Furthermore, as MPs, the three former Ministers are protected by parliamentary privilege for what they say in Parliament except in the rare occasion of violating the ban on “sensitive” issues under the Sedition Act consequent on an amendment to the Constitution which would be powerful shields to defend them from criminal charges that might be preferred against them by a government which had lost its democratic principles and moral compass of being able to distinguish right from wrong or what should be the proper order of national priorities.

It is sad and shocking that Pandikar seems to have turned the role of Speaker upside down, as instead of protecting Members of Parliament from any encroachments from the Executive, he seems to be siding with the Executive against Members of Parliament even to the extent of suggesting Executive actions against Members of Parliament.

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  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Friday, 28 October 2016 - 8:13 am

    THIS SPEAKER SAYS HE IS NOT FROM KAMPUNG NOR APPOINTED HIMSELF BUT HIS PRONOUCEMENT SAYS OTHERWISE.. Why is the suppose independent legislative branch manager doing talking about the supposedly independent executive Branch? Is he also the manager of the Executive Branch?

    It reveals a great deal how Pandikar Amin view himself, he think he is up there with the innermost top most privilleged inner circle of Najib, up there with Zahid Hamidi, the AG, CJ who see their power runs across any branch of govt if they want to..

    These individuals are unofficial members of the Red Shirts and Black Shirts, each of them capable of an equal or worst 1MDB scandal. Again, HOW MANY RM50 billion or more can the voters of UMNO and Hadi’s PAS think they can afford?

  2. #2 by drngsc on Friday, 28 October 2016 - 2:15 pm

    Pandikar is not so smart. He cannot think that far. His mental capacity only allows hi to think about his rice bowl and cari makan. He will gladly kiss the feet of the one paying him.
    His only job in Parliament is to say, ” yes tuan” to MO1 and to say shut up to opposition. That does not require much intelligence.

  3. #3 by good coolie on Monday, 31 October 2016 - 6:34 pm

    Ah, I have often dreamt of an ambassadorial posting to America, Canada, U.K. or some progressive European state (France, Belgium,Switzerland,…). For me, it is only a dream.

  4. #4 by good coolie on Wednesday, 2 November 2016 - 12:40 pm

    When the yet un-coagulated Barisan Nasional Alternatif led by the likes of Anwar, Mahatir, and Mahyudin (Najib likes that spelling) takes power, they will come out with a Speaker truly respectful of Parliament! Remember how respectful Mahatir was of Parliamentary Democracy?

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