Anwar to be suspended without his defence heard

Anwar to be suspended without his defence heard
By Hafiz Yatim | Malaysiakini
Dec 3, 10

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today accused Parliament’s rights and privileges committee of pushing for his suspension without hearing his defence on his allegations about US-based consultancy Apco.

Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, who is a member of the powerful committee, said today’s meeting was called without any fixed agenda.

Karpal said the committee members were given a letter from Apco, dated Aug 19, at the meeting.

“Suddenly, Muar MP Razali Ibrahim moved a motion that the matter be heard and the motion was seconded by Alor Gajah MP Dr Fong Chan Onn,” he said.

“R Sivarasa (Subang Jaya MP) was also there, and we protested against the hearing of the matter. I questioned the hurry, and Razali asked, ‘why not?’,” added Karpal.

Following this, Karpal said that he and Sivarasa walked out of the meeting in protest.

“The meeting went on without our presence,” he said. Karpal and Sivarasa said they had no idea what transpired at the meeting after they left.

Anwar: Decision is totally outrageous

Anwar, who was also present at the press conference, described the process as “totally outrageous”.

“When I was referred to the committee, the speaker had promised a proper hearing where documents will be presented, and I will be able to defend myself,” he said.

“However, this is not being done. This is unfair, and a black mark in Parliament’s history,” he added.

He showed the Parliament Hansard dated April 22, where Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang had raised the issue, and the speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia’s (left) reply which stated the rights and privileges committee will call whomever witness to testify and important documents will be tabled.

“We will call anyone who is needed and documents wil be tabled. The committee will then make its recommendation and decide on the proper punishment,” Pandikar was quoted as saying.

Anwar’s lawyer, Ambiga Sreenevasam (right), said the Parliament had acted against the rule of natural justice by having the rights and privileges committee meet without calling Anwar.

“This has never happened before in courts where a person is at least given his right to defend himself, but this was not done,” she said.

Anwar said if he was to be called he had prepared his defence, showing the file which he had with him.

“I have all the evidence to rebut all the allegations and denial but I was not given the right to defend myself.

“They are merely taking the words from a document (Apco) and not from other witnesses including me. This is truly unfair and undemocratic and violates the rules of natural justice,” he said.

Despite the adversities he faced, the Permatang Pauh MP is prepared to face the music when parliament resumes on Monday.

The powerful rights and privileges committee, which is tasked to discuss the 1Malaysia and One Israel issue, comprised of House speaker Pandikar Amin, deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee, Karpal Singh, Sivarasa, Nancy Shukri, Dr Fong Chan Onn and Razali Ibrahim.

Committee had made a decision

When contacted later, Pandikar Amin, who chaired today’s meeting, said that the committee had made a decision.

However, he declined to reveal its decision and said the matter will be finalised on Wednesday.

The decision will then be tabled to Parliament for further action.

Anwar was also asked whether such actions directed to prevent him from coming to Parliament are signs that the general election is approaching, and to this Karpal responded he believed it is so.

“Such a move done by the committee is unwarranted,” he said, adding that despite being faced with the prospect of suspension Anwar was still eligible to contest.

“This does not affect his rights but it will only hinder Anwar’s presence in Parliament if he is suspended,” he said.


Anwar barred from testifying over APCO accusation
By Adib Zalkapli | The Malaysian Insider
December 03, 2010

PETALING JAYA, Dec 3 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not be allowed to testify over his remarks linking Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia to One Israel, Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee decided today.

The committee’s decision was seen as an attempt to hasten Anwar’s suspension from Parliament, said DAP chairman Karpal Singh (picture) today.

The Bukit Gelugor MP said the powerful committee decided to rely solely on a letter from public relation consultancy APCO and not to call other witnesses and Anwar to testify.

The decision prompted Karpal and Subang MP R. Sivarasa to leave the committee meeting.

“Me and Siva have no alternative but to withdraw,” Karpal told a press conference.

He also complained that APCO’s letter, which he refused to disclose, was only submitted to the committee this morning.

The powerful committee is chaired by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia. Karpal and Sivarasa are the only opposition MPs in the committee. The other members are Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee, Muar MP Datuk Razali Ibrahim, Alor Gajah MP Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn and Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri.

“In my view the Rights and Privileges Committee has abdicated from its responsibilities,” said Karpal.

He revealed that Razali suggested that the committee continue its proceedings without calling witnesses or Anwar to testify, and this was supported by Fong.

“The issue needs to be investigated, cannot be based on a letter and without calling witnesses and not allowing Anwar to testify,” said Sivarasa.

“Given what has happened, we can expect the impending punishment,” he added.

Meanwhile, Anwar described the decision today contradicted Pandikar’s assurance when allowing the motion to refer him to the committee.

“The Speaker had given an assurance that when an MP is referred to the committee, the member would be called to testify,” said Anwar.

“APCO is very powerful that one letter can overturn all our testimonies,” he added.

The Malaysian Insider had reported last month that Anwar would likely be suspended from December 15 following recommendation from the Rights and Privileges Committee for his remarks linking the Najib’s 1 Malaysia to former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s One Israel.

The move is believed to be a strategic attempt by the ruling BN coalition to throw the opposition momentarily off guard ahead of an expected general election, believed likely to be held in the first quarter of next year.

It is also believed to be a form of reprisal by the federal government after similar moves by Pakatan Rakyat administrations in Selangor and Penang to suspend BN opposition leaders from their state assemblies.

Anwar had initially been summoned to face the House committee on June 8 after he claimed that the supposedly Israeli-linked APCO Worldwide employed by the Najib administration was behind both the 1 Malaysia and One Israel concepts.

His remarks had dominated the previous parliamentary session earlier this year and had been used incessantly by opposition leaders as campaign fodder during the Hulu Selangor and Sibu by-elections.

Anwar’s hearing before the committee was, however, put off when the leader insisted on being accompanied by legal counsel — former Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan.

He was later allowed to be accompanied by Ambiga under strict instructions that the latter would not be allowed to speak during the proceedings.

Despite this, Anwar’s hearing was put off and the matter had not been raised until this morning.

Any decision made by the Rights and Privileges Committee is subject to the endorsement of the Dewan Rakyat.

  1. #1 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 3 December 2010 - 6:36 pm

    “R Sivarasa (Subang Jaya MP) was also there, and we protested against the hearing of the matter. I questioned the hurry, and Razali asked, ‘why not?’,” added Karpal.

    This is what ugly UMNO and BN is capable of: brutalizing the people’s voice with a show of brute force!

    BN sees no need for reason, debate or even discussion. Just ram it through.

    If Anwar is a threat to BN’s hold on Putrajaya, Anwar’s voice must be crippled, crushed and coffin’d.

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 3 December 2010 - 6:40 pm

    And then BN can go on a lark and increase prices of gas, petrol and sugar again!


    Yes, again!

    Is Malaysia so broke that the people must pay for BN’s sins?

    Yes, BN’s sins shall break Malaysians’ backs – the backs of the nasi lemak mak cik, the char kwey teow stallowner, the passenger on Rapid bus, office workers and blue collar workers too.

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Friday, 3 December 2010 - 9:41 pm

    ///Anwar to be suspended without his defence heard///

    Suspension of Anwar without his defence heard could well be translated into sympathy votes for PKR come GE13. It is up to PKR to take advantage of Anwar’s suspension issue to garner sympathy support from the rakyat.

  4. #4 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 3 December 2010 - 10:16 pm

    In spite of the proclamation that DSAI is a lame horse, the action taken against him clearly shows otherwise. If indeed , he is a lame horse, he should be left where he is. No, clearly their SB has done its homework; DSAI is a real contender to lead the nation. So to those who are undecided, the path is cleared. So be ready when he rides to Putrajaya!!!

  5. #5 by monsterball on Friday, 3 December 2010 - 10:36 pm

    He is suspended. Malaysiakini ban from a Govt meeting. All others allowed in…except Malaysiakini.
    God knows how many times Karpal suspended from Parliament.
    Ipoh PAS leader suspended.
    Soon it will by LKS too….leaving weak PAS to battle on.
    This is new ISA style… shut up mouths?
    Essential prices increases. Why bad actions ..just months before 13th GE? No more money….all stolen…cannot subsidized anymore…must tax more. No more money….all stolen…and crooks find it hard to steal nowadays with millions of eyes wide open to catch crooks.
    Yes Judgment Day is near…. Najib.

  6. #6 by Thor on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 12:30 am

    Blardy hell to all those (deleted) who voted for those BN blood suckers!
    GE’s coming and these idiot BN government still dare to increased prices of stuff here and there.
    Because of those (deleted) voters, we’ve to share the same fate as well.

  7. #7 by Thor on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 12:39 am

    This is insane, really insane!!!
    Nutjib’s guts must have grown alot of hair.
    Raising prices at a critical moment!

  8. #8 by Thor on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 2:00 am

    This country is made up of two kinds of people!
    One, who’re brainless idiots that won’t bother to think or differentiate what is right or wrong and the other, who’re darn smart but cannot do anything just because of the fear of ISA and police threat.
    To PR, you really need to find a way to counter those threat if you need to march to putrajaya.
    Otherwise, even with our votes, it will not help you much because who really knows what is gonna happen to most of our votes then.
    After the defeat in the 2008 GE, these BN idiots are more cautious now and they might be employing certain tactics to prevent the same thing from happening again.
    That’s why they’re getting bolder day by day to bully us even when the next GE is just around the corner.
    They just know that they can win even if we disliked them.

  9. #9 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 2:11 am

    Will our muslim brothers do nothing when Anwar who is one of their fellow muslim brothers is being persecuted by a minority of bad muslim leaders? The non-muslims can see this very unfair treatment of Anwar by the UMNOB clique and are ready to defend him. Are the majority of Malaysian muslims blind? Have they forgotten fairness and justice which is one of the tenets of Islam?

  10. #10 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 4:10 am

    Let it be said at the outset that personally I don’t believe the truth of whatever Anwar said about APCO, Najib’s 1 Malaysia being linked to One Israel etc. His was a flash of religious card smacked with anti Semitism. He had to apologise to his American/Israelis friends in the aftermath. It compromised his credibility. I said this before in the relevant thread in this blog.

    Though I don’t defend the truth of what Anwar alleged, I would defend his right as a politician to make such a spin in Parliament and to be kept harmless from the kind of “verdict” and punishment (likely suspension) by Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee (“PRPC”).

    I believe the PRPC proceedings (as reported above) are misconceived and wrong. There are so many reasons why this is so that I know not how to begin.

    Firstly, PRPC proceedings are procedurally wrong. For it to sit and hear Anwar’s alleged misconduct of misleading Parliament, there must be in existence first a motion to refer him to PRPC and then passed by the BN dominated Dewan Rakyat, with notice served on Anwar on the date of hearing. However, as I understand the situation, debate proper on the motion has yet to take off as Opposition MPs threw various technical arguments and Standing Orders to stop it. Without the motion passed by the lower chamber, what is the authority by which the PRPC by its own volition have MP Razali Ibrahim move such a motion on its own seconded by Alor Gajah MP Dr Fong Chan Onn???

    Now it’s definitely procedurally wrong for the PRPC hearing to proceed its disciplinary proceedings without firstly Anwar being present to defend himself and secondly after the two opposition committee members – Karpal and Sivarasa- had walked off.

    The proceedings violate the rules of natural justice. There are 2 simple rules here: (a) one shall be a judge in his own cause (in Latin, Nemo debet esse index propria causa), here’s it’s the BN proceeding in PRPC in the absence of the two Opposition committee members; and (b) no decision shall be given against a party without affording him a reasonable hearing (in Latin “audi alteram parlem”), here Anwar had neither notice of proceedings nor opportunity to defend or prove his allegations of 1 Malaysia -1 Israel connection.

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 4:12 am

    (Continuation) Let me just say this : the Rules of Natural Justice is a philosophical and practical principle in the law in all common law and legal systems deriving their laws, legal norms and parliamentary practice from UK’s common law. It is a fundamental right. It started since Roman terms – hence the Latin terms…. Had the body disciplining Anwar being one appointed by the executive/government that has proceeded in violation of these Rules of Natural Justice, any Court that knows its law and dispenses it impartially, will declare the proceedings a nullity!

    Now where exactly was Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia coming from when he stated that the PRPC could call whomever witness to testify and important documents to be tabled (without regard to whether Rules of Natural Justice were observed)?

    He likely thought that the Rules themselves didn’t apply in Parliamentary context. The Speaker might have thought that well these Rules might, by our laws, apply to proceedings only of our Judicial Courts or administrative tribunals appointed by Executive / Government but they didn’t apply to the Legislature/ Parliamentary proceedings, his rationale being Parliament, unlike Judiciary or the Executive, is supreme – that the Supremacy of Parliament to legislate not only laws of the country but its own internal management of how to deal with errant and misleading members like Anwar that transcends and overrides whatever Rules of Natural Justice.

    I believe this view is incorrect for the following reasons:

    Firstly, even if Parliament were supreme, what is it supreme for? It’s supreme for legislating and making laws. Neither Judiciary nor Executive (Govt) could challenge Parliament in this. But here PRPC was not sitting as a committee delegated powers to make laws. It was sitting as a body to discipline a member. In other words as a tribunal with something akin to judicial functions. In that capacity it cannot flout the Rules of Natural Justice. There is yet another point here: there was no delegation of anything as it will be recalled that the Parliamentary motion to refer Anwar to PRPC had not yet been passed by the BN dominated Dewan Rakyat. (I stand corrected, if I were wrong to assume this).

    Secondly, it is doubtful that the Supremacy of Parliament applies 100% here as in UK because of the difference that the UK has no written constitution, whilst we have a written Constitution. And Parliament cannot be more supreme than what is written in our Constitution – that citizens like Anwar have fundamental rights protected by our Constitution, which include the right to be accorded Rules of Natural Justice!

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 4:15 am

    Finally, one cannot take everything from UK wholesale.

    For example, Erskine May is the recognized authority on parliamentary practice and procedures. According to Erskine May there are 4 types of conduct that constitute Contempt of Parliament and fit and proper subject for Parliament to discipline.

    They are (i) an errant member’s use of force of any kind, threats, intimidation, provocation and insults in Parliament or its vicinity; (ii) unlawful” obstruction of the Parliamentary proceedings. (By this is meant cases in which parliamentarians clearly refuse to obey the rules of procedure and try to create an obstruction by word or deed); (iii) corruption in the execution of a member’s duty, accepting fees for professional services connected with proceedings in parliament; (iv) members deliberately misleading the House.

    What is the actual situation here? If Anwar’s spin on 1 Malaysia/1 Israel were “deliberately misleading the House”, then he’s certainly not the only one. Dare it be said that BN’s politicians don’t spin and skew issues in parliamentary debates like meaning of “Ketuanan”??? The right of Members of Parliament to freedom of speech has to be weighed and balanced against. As MP one cannot be saying all the time the right thing in a milieu of political contestation. There is always room for skewing either an informed or misinformed interpretation to an issue. Why many are doing it on both sides of political divide: why selectively target the Opposition head for suspension? The APCO’s letter may b used to contradict and disparage his political capital and credibility but that’s not the same as suspending and depriving him the MP’s rights!

    The whole idea of Parliamentary debates in a Democracy – and first World Parliament – is to allow truth to come out by contradiction and discrediting of the party that spins with neither proof nor logic.

    It is however not consistent with Pak Lah’s aspiration to build a First World Parliament if it ignores fundamental Rules of Natural justice enshrined in our Constitution. It is also not “First World” to engage in selective unfair treatment of punishing Anwar for such an issue whilst at the same time keeping harmless errant MPs of ruling Coalition to deride female members as “bochor”, threatening Karpal outside the steps of Parliament, using racial epithets like “Pendatang” in the case of a Minister making a sexist joke of Parliament as a decrepit old woman requiring repair and face lift….

    To at fairly is an implied but essential attribute of being “First World”!

  13. #13 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 4:21 am

    Typo omission in #10 above – “…(a) one shall NOT be a judge in his own cause…”

  14. #14 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 4:30 am

    #13 – To ACT fairly (not selectively) is an implied but essential attribute of being “First World”!

  15. #15 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 8:02 am

    Jeffrey, I am surprised at your depth and breadth of knowledge on so great a variety of subjects. You certainly take time to research, don’t you.
    Thank you for all the research you have been making.

    PR should make you their Chief Information Officer of sorts.

  16. #16 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 8:10 am

    Jeffrey, sorry for wrong choice of word.

    “surprise” in #15 might sound patronising. The correct word should be “amazed”.

    I am amazed….often enough. And I like your dispassionate look at things. That amazes me when my blood is boiling at BN’s excesses and idiocy.

    Guess the world needs people like you around to provide reason, logic and argument. Otherwise, we would simply end up blowing each other to smithereens like what they are threatening to do in Korea or what they are doing in Afhanistan.

    Peopel must learn to reason, argue and debate. Then, let the one win the argument whose logic, reason and good sense is able to conquer the other’s sense of revolt and persuade them to the winning arguments. Not with bullets and battering rams, not by kicking them out of Parliament through brute majority, not by passing draconian laws to shut up the people’s voices, not by stifling debates and comments and not by banning assemblies, forums and conferences.

  17. #17 by k1980 on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 8:37 am

    Anwar to be suspended

    So will more PKR frogs hop over to bn?

  18. #18 by monsterball on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 8:58 am

    If you can find an all truthful politician..he is a idiot.
    Anwar may not be truthful about Apco…and that we all know too…but his art to expose hypocrites sly foxes and corrupted crooks are much to be admired.
    Just one word…Malaysians Supremacy..not Malay Supremacy…got all UMNO B goons go wild.

  19. #19 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 9:35 am

    ENDANGERED HORNBILL #15 & 16: Thanks for the kind words.

    I agree with what you said about the need to look at issues dispassionately.

    As human it would be impossible to bring 100% objectivity and rationality to our way of looking at things. In my case I can only just try – and share – the effort on best endeavour basis. It is my little contribution for the Malaysian Cause.

    I can see so many unhappy Malaysians, many of them here in this blog. It is understandable as our problems seems intractable, the situation looks bleak.

    Many of us are not inclined to dispassionate non partisan thinking as in your words the “blood is boiling” so we pin our hopes and dreams on the Opposition/Anwar on “ the ends justify the means” method.

    I am afraid that that may not be the panacea of our ills/problems and heartaches. Politicians are (generally) politicians and they generally more often than not will shatter our dreams.

    I try to share with Malaysians an issue based approach – judging, supporting or criticizing an issue on its merits than which political party or coalition does or say it.

    Over the longer term when this attitude broadens down – when Malaysians share the same penchant to ferret out and uphold the truth and lampoon falsehood & spin – never mind which side says it, then we are one step nearer to the common goal of making this country a better place.

    Ours make pretension to be at least nominally a democracy based on the ballot box. It’s a numbers game, one man one vote based on majority, and if majority were a mob we get mob rule. So the work starts at grass roots level, to try straighten them from the discourse space on how to look out for the truth and fight falsehood. This is the first Change – ie mindset- that is ultimately the arbiter. For as the saying goes people get the governments they deserve, so changing the mindsets of people seems earlkier step to changing governments.

    There’s no discourse area better to start from than this blog that is YB Kit’s. Kit is the last of the political Mohicans who could bring the necessary courage and intelligence to bear to fight the Common Cause for the nation and all who wish it a better place. In this he would need help – esp the occasional dispassionate ideas from his readers and commenter’s. We should try to do our little part to help by engaging, if we can, in reasonable discourse to add depth to issues than just vent frustrations and spleen here if our first objective is to attract and not drive away other readers who could visit here stay and make meaningful contributions to Kit’s fight.

    When Malaysiakini first started in early years I made whatever contributions I could there. Ask M’Kini’s Prem/Steven, I even tried arranging for M’Kini a shoplot in Subang 2 free of rental to store their limited weekly, if approved by Ministry. It was not approved, and the place was not suitable in terms of IT infra. Today I concentrate here because M’Kini is already successful and influential in attracting those with ideas and write well for it in service of the Malaysian Cause.

  20. #20 by Cinapek on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 10:52 am

    I delayed commenting as the fury within me would have made me said something I would regret. I am human and do not the possess the ability to be dispassionate as so admirably displayed by Jeffrey in dissecting and rationalising the issue.

    We can dream of a Utopia with mature and civilised thinking MPs who are driven by justice and the lofty ideals of protecting the interest of the rakyat. Sadly, typically what we have are a bunch of self serving nitwits who only look as far as what their political bosses tell them.

    In any civilised society, a person charged with any offence should be given a chance to defend himself, much less in an august body such as Parliament. If the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee(read BN and BN controlled members) can display such blatant disregard for this most basic of human rights, then is it any wonder that our institutions such as the judiciary and the law enforcement agencies are so severely tainted and compromised?

    I wonder whether this obscene haste to punish and silence Anwar and refuse him the right to defend himself is to hide the truth or the BN Govt is afraid that Anwar might reveal embarassing details if he was allowed to defend himself.

    There is another aspect of this matter that troubles me. Muar MP Razali Ibrahim is the Deputy UMNO Youth leader and a potential future top UMNO leader. If BN continues to remain in power and he moves up the echelons of power, we would one day have a man sitting in a powerful position and who has displayed his scorn for respecting basic human rights. This is typical UMNO DNA and we can forget all about the rhetoric about UMNO making changes and learned to live with these abuses if we are not able to change the Govt.

    This episode again has demonstrated BN’s clearly defined policy of the “ends justifies the means” and further confirming the kangaroo justice of the various court cases of murder, sodomy, massive corruption, power grabbing (aka Perak) etc.

  21. #21 by boh-liao on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 12:22 pm

    Yes, d truth is dis so-called democratic nation is governed since independence by a supreme devilish autocratic political party (Umno n then UmnoB) that is all-in-1, prosecutor, jury, n judge
    Of cos, UmnoB’s cronies n doggies obediently tag along, just like d invertebrate FCO
    Pity dis nation where residents r exploited, bullied, jailed, or even murdered
    By right, after >50 yrs of independence as Malaya, all residents should enjoy a higher standard of living with good incomes
    However, now, residents r facing higher prices of essential goods n services
    More price increases r coming, chain reaction – thanks 2 all who voted 4 UmnoB/BN

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