Archive for category Parliament
Emergency Parliament on Wednesday should have two separate motions to discuss not only Thursday’s MH 17 disaster which costs 298 lives but also the MH 370 disappearance 133 days ago with 239 lives on board
Members of Parliament have received the notice for an emergency meeting of Parliament on Wednesday, 17th July 2014, by the Parliament Secretary Datuk Roosme binti Hamzah by email timed 5.40 am to debate the MH 17 tragedy.
Malaysians are still reeling from the unspeakable and indescribable horror of a second air disaster in less than five months to hit the country and the national airline Malaysian Airlines, claiming a total of 537 lives from over 10 different countries.
There are great differences between the MH 370 disaster of March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board and the MH 17 disaster of July 17 with 298 passengers and crew on board, firstly, the latter is an atrocious crime against humanity representing inexcusable and unpardonable war crimes while the cause of the latter remains a great mystery despite the largest and longest (and continuing) multi-national land, sea and under-sea search in history; and secondly, the bereaved families, relative and friends of the victims of the MH 17 disaster can have closure although still demanding for justice against the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity in downing the civilian aircraft from the skies while the bereaved families, relatives and friends of the victims of MH 370 disaster are still looking for a closure, as the announcement by the Prime Minister on March 24 that the Malaysian airline “ended it journey in the South Indian Ocean” proved to be “a closure without closure”. Read the rest of this entry »
Six months ago, it was reported that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had directed mandatory media training for his ministers to speak sensibly and to prevent missteps that have made his administration the laughing stock among Malaysians.
At that time, the country had periodically been rocked by “foolish” remarks by Ministers which spawned Internet memes and jokes detrimental to Putrajaya’s image, like:
• Minister for Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Datuk Seri Hasan Malek who wanted the people to be thankful for having “sincere” leaders who “prioritise people’s needs above all else” in response to the people’s unhappiness at subsidy cuts and price hikes;
• Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor who made insensitive responses to the complaints of property owners in Kuala Lumpur to the hike in assessment rate;
• Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar offering advice to the people to stop eating chicken if the prices were too high and to use alternative roads if they did not want to pay toll on highways, when he spoke of impending hike in toll rates;
• Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muyiddin Yassin telling the Education World Forum 2014 in London that education should produce a “global citizen” mentality after his infamous and never retracted announcement that he was “Malay first, Malaysian second”;
• Even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself with his “kangkung” and “RM1 chicken” gaffes.
Another fatal defect in Speaker Pandikar’s ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state was his sole reliance on Jamil Khir’s explanation and failure to canvass all views in Parliament on the controversial subject, including those from non-UMNO Ministers/MPs from BN
Yesterday I said that Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had exceeded his powers and functions as Speaker of Parliament when he passed judgment on the Malaysian Constitution ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state.
This is because it is not the role or function of the Speaker of Parliament to interpret the Constitution and make a Constitutional ruling which becomes an authority quoted by all and sundry as the law of the land.
Although Pandikar has limited his interpretation to “merely for the purposes of this House” and not an opinion to be “an authority” in the country, there is no doubt that it would be quoted by various quarters as an “authority” both inside and outside Parliament to justify the arbitrary, dubious and controversial stand that Malaysia is not a secular state.
Another fatal defect in Pandikar’s ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state was his sole reliance on the explanation by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom and his failure to canvass all views in Parliament on the controversial subject, including those from non-UMNO Ministers and MPs from Barisan Nasional.
As the DAP MP for Bandar Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen had tried to point out in Parliament after Pandikar’s ruling yesterday, as far as Sarawak and Sabah were concerned with regard to the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Jamil was very wrong to say that Malaysia is not a secular state “berdasarkan kepada fakta sejarah yang menunjukkan bahawa Malaysia telah ditubuhkan berasaskan Kerajaan Islam Kesultanan Melayu dan Raja Raja Melayu merupakan Ketua Agama bagi negeri masing masing” – as both Sarawak and Sabah (and Singapore, which was a party to the Malaysia Agreement 1963) did not have a history of Malay Rulers. Read the rest of this entry »
Pandikar exceeded his powers and functions when he passed judgment on the Malaysian Constitution ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state
Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia exceeded his powers and functions as Speaker of Parliament when he passed judgment on the Malaysian Constitution ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state.
Can the Speaker of Parliament interpret the Constitution and make a Constitutional ruling which becomes an authority quoted by all and sundry as the law of the land?
Of course not, and to be fair to Pandikar, he is fully aware of this, which is why he qualified what he said in Parliament as only his interpretation “merely for the purposes of this House” and not an opinion to be “an authority” in the country.
However, such caveat by Pandikar will not prevent his “ruling” from being quoted by various quarters as an “authority” or even used by Ministers in future parliamentary meetings to justify their arbitrary, dubious and controversial stand that Malaysia is not a secular state.
Furthermore, it is not within the province of the powers and functions for a Speaker to give his interpretation or ruling on a “hot potato” issue as to whether Malaysia is (i) secular; (ii) not secular; or (iii) Islamic state.
Pandikar should have decided on the issue before him, whether to refer the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom to the Committee of Privileges without wading into this political minefield. Read the rest of this entry »
by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
17 June 2014
DAP wants Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom to be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee for his claim in Parliament yesterday that Malaysia was not a secular state.
Oscar Ling Chai Yew (DAP-Sibu) filed a motion under Standing Order 36(12) to refer Jamil to the committee for allegedly confusing the House.
Speaking to reporters later, Ling said Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has agreed to call Jamil Khir for an explanation.
In his written reply to Ling, Jamil said the formation of Malaysia was based on the Islamic administration of the Malay sultanates and that the Malay sultans were heads of Islam in their respective states.
“This was reinforced by Article 3 of the Federal Constitution which places Islam as the religion of the federation, though other religions can be practised peacefully anywhere within the federation,” he said in the reply.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, who was also present today, said the first three prime ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn – would have been “horrified” with Jamil’s answer.
“They would have been completely horrified by the answer as it is completely against their understanding of the foundation of the country. Read the rest of this entry »
by Himanshu Bhatt,Sangeetha Amarthalingam and Tarani Palani
May 25, 2014
GEORGE TOWN (May 25): The DAP’s Ramkarpal Singh made his political debut in style by winning the Bukit Gelugor by-election today by a thundering 37,659-vote majority, polling 81.7% more votes than his closest opponent.
Ramkarpal received 37,659 votes, while Parti Cinta Malaysia’s Datuk Huan Cheng Guan obtained 3,583 votes. Independents Mohamed Nabi Bux Mohd Sathar got 799 while Abu Backer Sidek Mohammd Zan obtained 225 votes. There were 542 spoilt votes.
This means all three of Ramkarpal’s opponents lost their deposits. The results were announced at 9.10pm by Returning Officer Capt (R) Anwar Yahaya at the Dewan Sri Pinang. Read the rest of this entry »
by Susan Loone
May 25, 2014
Newly-minted Bukit Gelugor parliamentarian Ramkarpal Singh has dedicated his victory to his late father Karpal Singh, the much-revered incumbent who died in a road crash last month.
Thanking his mother Gurmit Kaur, who stood by him today, he also paid gratitude to his siblings Jagdeep, Gobind, Mankarpal and Sangeet for supporting him through life.
“This is my maiden election and it was not an easy ride,” he said.
“If we had a higher voter turn out, our majority would be higher. If we look at the majority despite voter turn out, then it is a huge victory.”
Ramkarpal won with a whopping majority of 37,659 votes – or 89 percent of votes cast – about 4000 votes shy of Karpal’s mammoth majority in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »
BY ANISAH SHUKRY
The Malaysian Insider
MAY 25, 2014
The smear campaign against DAP’s Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud highlights the sexism endemic in Malaysian politics.
In Parliament, men outnumber women by almost 10 to one. A female representative, whether in Parliament or a state assembly, has to fight sexist perceptions of her marital status, looks and dress.
DAP vice-chairperson Teresa Kok said she once argued in Parliament for the rights of single mothers, only to be interrupted by an MP who reminded the Dewan Rakyat that she was unmarried.
“They said I was single, not qualified to make comments on the issue of single mothers. And being a single woman in the eyes of some Umno MPs is akin to being a second-class citizen. They run me down, treat my status as a joke,” the Seputeh MP told The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »
BY BOO SU-LYN
The Malay Mail Online
MAY 25, 2014
TELUK INTAN, May 25 — In a country where only one out of 10 MPs is female, activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan lauded Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud’s bold step forward into the murky political world dominated by men.
Ambiga, a former Malaysian Bar president turned activist, also decried the sexist attacks that the 26-year-old DAP aspirant has suffered in the Teluk Intan by-election campaign.
“As a woman, I’m happy to see more and more women coming up to fight the battle in the political arena,” Ambiga said at a DAP fundraising dinner here last night, attended by some 2,000 people.
“We are happy to see more women in Parliament,” added the former chief of election watchdog Bersih 2.0.
The 13th general election last year saw only 23 women being elected into the 222-seat Parliament.
The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has 14 female federal lawmakers, while the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has nine, out of which the DAP has the most at four. Read the rest of this entry »
MCA should requisition for an emergency BN Supreme Council meeting for a policy decision to be taken on hudud as 11 or even 12 of the 13 component BN parties would oppose any hudud implementation
The Barisan Nasional BackBenchers Club (BNBBC) comprising Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament have sprung a surprise on its website, lambasting MCA and advising MCA leaders that they “should not spew nonsense or act as a hero as if trying to show the Chinese community that it fights for them” over the controversial hudud issue.
In an anonymous opinion piece on the BNBBC portal, MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong was called “rude” for suggesting yesterday that the party will consider its membership in the ruling coalition should Umno continue to support hudud.
The BNBBC stand is a surprise as the question that is inevitably asked is whether it represents the views of all 133 BN MPs, i.e. 88 from UMNO, 14 from PBB, 7 from MCA, 6 from Sarawak People’s Party (PRS), 4 each from MIC, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Parti Demokratik Progresif Sarawak (SPDB); 3 from UPKO; 1 each from Gerakan, SUPP and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) or just the views of the 88 UMNO MPs.
If the BNBBC anonymous opinion piece does not represent the consensus views of all the BN MPs, will the seven MCA MPs ask the BNBBC portal to publish an open retraction and apology? Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
MAY 05, 2014
One year after the Barisan Nasional (BN) won the 13th general election (GE13) with fewer votes and fewer seats, more lawmakers from the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) find themselves at the wrong end of the law and risking jail time.
Tomorrow, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok will be charged with sedition, weeks after the late Karpal Singh was convicted of the same charge.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim faces the possibility of jail for a second sodomy conviction while his PKR party colleague Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad is expected to charged again under the Peaceful Assembly Act.
Just two weeks ago, the Court of Appeal had declared Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act – which criminalises the failure to give 10-day notice before a gathering – to be unconstitutional.
And in July 2012, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that the Sedition Act will be repealed and replaced by a National Harmony Act. That has yet to take place and instead, more people have been charged with sedition. Read the rest of this entry »
May 2, 2014
Deceased Teluk Intan MP Seah Leong Peng was a true party loyalist who had stood by the DAP in its darkest days since he became a member in 1995, said secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
Lim said Seah had stood by the DAP whether from crushing electoral reverses or from the mindless persecution and prosecution of party leaders by the BN “totalitarian” government.
“He was an idealist and a fighter, who refused to bow down to threats and a determined defender of the underdog in his 19 years with the party and 15 years as a wakil rakyat,” the Penang chief minister added.
Seah, 48, died of cancer yesterday after he was diagnosed of the sickness in February. Read the rest of this entry »
Apr 26, 2014
Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz, one of only two DAP Muslim MPs, says he is obligated to support hudud law because of his religion but will still not back PAS’ private member’s bill on the matter.
The Raub MP said regardless of personal views, the reality is the country’s secular constitution and if PAS wants to implement hudud law it must first push for a new Islamic constitution.
Until then, Ariff Sabri said PAS should not force other Muslims to back it’s hudud plan by questioning their faith.
“PAS must do the right thing first – secure parliament and change the constitution Read the rest of this entry »
Apr 23, 2014
TRIBUTE Much has been written about the recently deceased Karpal Singh.
His skills as a lawyer, his fight for basic rights and contributions to the law, his commitment to his family and his struggle for ordinary people as a humanitarian are just some of the themes raised in the many eulogies and reflections in the past few days since he and his friend and assistant Michael Cornelius lost their lives.
The reactions from ordinary Malaysians have reaffirmed the spirit of dignity and humanity that are an integral part of the national character and stand in stark contrast to the uncouth provocative remarks of a handful of individuals who, blinded by insecurity and hubris, revealed how far they have deviated from common decency.
I knew Karpal Singh as a politician, and the remarks that follow are some of my observations on his important role in Malaysian political life and his political legacy. Read the rest of this entry »
– K.K. Wong
The Malaysian Insider
April 21, 2014
Karpal Singh’s sudden and tragic death is still sinking into the minds of many.
I had the honour of bumping into this great man many years ago in a Bangsar mini market. I remember recognizing him straightaway, but it was he who introduced himself to me. It was this gesture of humility which struck me. He did not take it for granted that everyone should know him.
Karpal Singh has many creditable attributes. To many it was his integrity, his courage, his immense and formidable legal skills which stood him out in the crowd.
There are few who would dare to fight from a position of nothing and yet Karpal Singh did it knowing that he had all the odds stacked against him. He stood firmly for justice and the truth. He was prepared to speak out for what he believed in against a greater authority in many instances of legal confrontations in his career.
He was armed not with power for which he had none, but only with his tremendous and deep legal knowledge, his integrity, his principle for justice and his wit. Read the rest of this entry »
by Allan CF Goh
In the screech of an accident,
A flame dies in this incident.
This great flame is called Karpal Singh,
Justice for people, he would sing.
His song will live eternally;
People’s right will triumph finally. Read the rest of this entry »
Call on Najib to convene emergency meeting of Parliament before May to set up Parliamentary Select Committee on MH 370 in view of the plethora of committees which Parliament had never been informed
The 37th day of the missing MH 370 tragedy has become darker today with another 24 hours of “silence” in the southern Indian Ocean, five days after the “most promising lead” in the search for the missing Boeing 777 plane as the Perth-based Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) announced that “there have been no confirmed acoustic detections over the past 24 hours”.
In Malaysia, confusion and contradictions continue to be very rife causing more grief and anguish to the families of the 239 passengers and crew, whether it be the conflicting reports about whether the RMAF had scrambled aircrafts after the missing MH370 in the early hours of March 8 or whether Flight MH370 co-pilot Fariq Ab Hamid had purportedly made a call on board the plane near Penang after it mysteriously cut off communications with tower controllers.
There were surprise announcements like the one from the Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein that Malaysia was sending two representatives from the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to be included in Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) which is coordinating the search and recovery effort for Flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean.
Why only sending two Malaysian representatives to join the JACC after the SAR operation had shifted to the southern Indian Ocean based in Perth for nearly three weeks?
Does this mean that Malaysia was never represented at all in the higher councils of the search operation based in Perth for nearly three weeks?
Another surprise is the disclosure of a plethora of investigation committees, which neither Parliament nor the country had been properly informed. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
April 13, 2014
Putrajaya looks to have turned the screws further on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after prosecutors filed a cross-appeal to enhance the five-year jail term against the opposition leader who was found guilty of sodomy last month.
His lawyer Karpal Singh said further Anwar’s appeal against the conviction and sentence appeared to be expedited for hearing in the Federal Court as the court registry had already sent him part of the appeal records.
“After going through the records, I found that the prosecution has appealed to enhance Anwar’s jail term,” Karpal told The Malaysian Insider.
This comes almost two weeks after Putrajaya had also cross-appealed against a lighter sentence imposed on Karpal who was found guilty of sedition.
On March 11, Karpal was fined RM4,000 but the prosecution filed a cross-appeal, urging the Court of Appeal to impose a stiffer penalty. Read the rest of this entry »
Apr 11, 2014
INTERVIEW Nearly 30 years on from one of the first of many threats on his life, Karpal Singh still refuses to slip quietly out the back door.
Then, he was urged by police officers to secretly leave a courtroom to avoid the danger posed by a man, claiming to have spiritual powers, who threatened to attack Karpal for suing the sultan.
Karpal refused, saying “if I go through that back door now, I will go through back doors all my life.”
The 74-year-old lawyer-politician maintains the same stoicism today, in the face of yet another attempt by the government to not only kill his political career, but also to put him in jail.
The sentence for his recent sedition conviction, a RM4,000 fine, precludes Karpal from holding political office and imposes a five-year disqualification period on running for Parliament again.
Malaysia has no upper-age limit to enter Parliament, and Karpal said he would be 82 when he would be eligible to return to politics.
“They are not doing it fairly; it is not the right way to do it,” Karpal said of the attempt to remove him from politics.
But he plans to give the government “a run for their money” on appeal.
“I will fight them to the Federal Court, and if at the end of it I have to go, then that’s too bad. I’ve got nothing left to lose.” Read the rest of this entry »
Hishammuddin and Shahidan’s reneging on their undertaking to give briefing to PR MPs and shooting down proposal for a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH 370 Disaster will reinforce adverse national and international perceptions about Malaysia’s transparency and crisis management of the MH 370 disaster
We had just experienced what I would describe as “mankind’s longest month” from March 8 to April 7, not only for the families, loved ones and friends of the 239 passengers and crew on board MH370 Boeing 777-200ER which had disappeared in the early hours of March 8, but also for Malaysians and well-wishers worldwide.
For the first time in human history, for a whole month in real time, 24/7 (i.e. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 31 days a month), the world has been haunted and tortured by the question as to how in the modern age, a hi-tech passenger plan can just vanish without a trace for a month with 239 passengers and crew onboard.
The families and loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew are drowned in grief and yet cannot really begin to grieve, for they are not prepared to abandon the glimmer of hope that there could be a miracle, for there has been no evidence or piece of wreckage to establish that MH370 had met a disastrous end.
On the 31st day of the disappearance of MH 370 Boeing 777 aircraft, three pings from deep in the Indian Ocean gave new hope to the world that they were signals from the plane’s black boxes before their beacons fall silent – promising a finality which had eluded the world’s longest and biggest-ever sea, undersea, air, satellite search which had involved 26 nations and scores of aircrafts, ships, submarines and even undersea drones. Read the rest of this entry »