Nazri, Kit Siang clash over rights panel procedures

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Lim Kit Siang today differed over whether Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had the right to defend himself at a parliamentary panel questioning his claim that government strategist APCO Worldwide had links with Israel.

Malaysia has no official ties with Israel, which is seen as an enemy by some Muslim states due to their occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Today, Nazri insisted that Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee was not a place for Anwar to defend himself on his APCO-One Israel claims, saying that the committee only served as a an “investigative body” to his accusations.

Nazri said the committee’s scope was only to determine a prima facie case on whether the PKR de facto leader should be suspended for misleading Parliament. He also reiterated that Anwar had denied himself the chance to put in his defence as a result of the “unruly conduct” by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers in Parliament last week.

“The place for Anwar to defend himself is in Parliament, after the minister has tabled the motion (on Anwar’s suspension) and debated on it. If that did not happen, it was because Anwar had denied himself a chance to do so last week, resulting in Pakatan’s mass walkout,” Nazri told The Malaysian Insider.

Lim, however, claimed that Nazri was wrong is his understanding of the role of the committee, and that Anwar should have been allowed to enter his defence over connecting the government’s public relations consultancy firm to the One Israel campaign under former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak.

The Umno minister’s arguments were then refuted by Lim, who claimed that the Rights and Privileges’ Committee was not just an investigative body but also a panel which conducted the necessary investigations and also passed a decision and findings on the matter.

The decisions and findings, according to the Ipoh Timur MP, would then be submitted to Parliament to be tabled, debated and decided on.

“The committee cannot just come to a conclusion without hearing the merits of the entire case, and this would have to include Anwar’s defence to his claims of APCO’s involvement in One Israel. The findings as well as a decision would have to have been made on the committee level, before submitting it to Parliament. I cannot understand Nazri’s understanding of the roles and functions of the committee,” Lim told The Malaysian Insider.

PR, chiefly PKR, has suggested the Najib administration had pressured APCO into denying its involvement in Barak’s One Israel campaign.

The party has also questioned the validity of Nazri’s “proof”, consisting of two documents with denials from APCO and an American political consultant over the consultancy’s involvement in the One Israel campaign.

The de facto law minister yesterday showed the evidence, which he said proved Anwar was lying when he accused APCO of being behind both the 1 Malaysia and One Israel campaigns.

The first was a letter from APCO that had formed the basis for the opposition de facto leader’s suspension from Parliament.

The second was a notarised sworn statement by Robert Shrum, the political consultant who helped create the One Israel coalition for Barak’s 1999 election campaign.
Both letters denied that APCO had anything to do with One Israel.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution alleged yesterday that it was not “impossible” for the government to get APCO to deny its involvement with a former Israeli PM, as the Najib administration was already paying the consultancy firm RM77 million.

Saifuddin had also questioned the timing of Nazri’s proof, and demanded to know why it was not brought to light before Anwar was suspended.

“Is he (Saifuddin) stupid? Is he an idiot? I was one of those who was called as a witness by the Rights and Privileges Committee. I was not called because Anwar had used his delay tactics again, to throw a spanner into the works. If I were to be called, I would have shown proof that Anwar had lied,” said Nazri.

Nazri also told The Malaysian Insider that the contents of the APCO letter were already given to the committee, which helped form the basis for Anwar’s suspension.

“As for Robert Shrum’s letter, I received it Monday last week, before Anwar’s suspension on Thursday. I wanted to speak about the letter in Parliament on Thursday during the debate on the motion to suspend (Anwar), but because of the ruckus that happened I was not able to do so, and there was no debate,” added the minister.
Nazri said that he was not surprised by PKR’s “theories”, saying it reflected the party’s usual tact.

“The reason why PKR comes out with these theories is because that’s what they do best. Lie and then deny something. It’s a concept that they do so well,” Nazri said.
The Permatang Pauh MP was suspended from Parliament for six months on December 16 for claiming that APCO, hired by the Najib administration, had been behind both the 1 Malaysia and One Israel concepts.

Nazri has dared Anwar to refute the two documents presented and to show his (Anwar’s) evidence, which the PKR leader has been flogging on the stump since he was given the boot last Sunday.

Anwar could not be reached for comment.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Thursday, 23 December 2010 - 7:22 pm

    Rights and Privileges Committee have final say…and when have anyone hear any sayings in favor of the Oppositions?
    Nazri can keep giving his version of the Rights..which Malaysians know Parliament is now a Kangaroo Parliament,
    Suspending Anwar …Karpal and two others…just go and read the survey on Selangor voters.
    A good Govt.need not keep applying all sorts of tricks to stay in power.
    It is a crooked corrupted one that is acting like what UMNO B ministers are doing.
    Enough is Enough.
    Lets go to vote and finish them….once and for all.
    Since day one elected….non stop talking… to win votes wasting millions tax payers money…each month….and disregarding voters needs and wants totally.
    It is all about UMNO B party only..and winning votes.
    How can a Govt that manage for 55 years still defending and getting worst and worst each year?
    Even a blind man can see what they are up to.
    Why are those voting for BN so blind..when they have eyes that can see and read all.

  2. #2 by tak tahan on Thursday, 23 December 2010 - 9:06 pm

    At first the pundekar gave assurance for Anwar to defend at the Rights and privileges’ committee,then took back his word as typical habitual liar.Now Nazri twisted the procedure of the committee to favour the kangoroo rule for the reason why all the honourable MPs to be suspended.Moreover,Nazri said by the admission of apco worlwide’s letter Anwar is lying and apco is telling the truth.Apco’contract will be extended FOR SURE as long as BN still rule bolehland.Incredible tongue twister lawyer burok.Kangaroo court of the year 2010.Boot these buggers out come 2011 GE13.

  3. #3 by Taxidriver on Thursday, 23 December 2010 - 10:15 pm

    LIM KIT SIANG is right. Loyar Nazi is covering up the truth, twisting the issue. Pray harder Nazi to free yourself from satan who is controlling and making you do things against your conscience. All your other fellow UMNOB members including your sifu is beyond redemption. For you it is not too late to bertaubat.

  4. #4 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 23 December 2010 - 11:49 pm

    We found another Kangaroo. He claims to be a lawyer and minister.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Friday, 24 December 2010 - 12:22 am

    Time 4 AI 2 remove his sarong of secrecy n expose d truth, streak man streak n wow Nazi

  6. #6 by Loh on Friday, 24 December 2010 - 2:20 am

    ///Today, Nazri insisted that Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee was not a place for Anwar to defend himself on his APCO-One Israel claims, saying that the committee only served as a an “investigative body” to his accusations.///–Nazri

    The body that investigates has the responsibility to get to the truth. It is not a prosecuting team, and the parliament is not a court. The Committee should present the fact. How else can the Committee establish the fact of the matter if there is no cross examination like a court does? If the Committee is expected to do as Nasri prescribed, then it serves as UMNO’s vehicle to persecute opposition MPs. It is then not a committee of the Parliament but a committee of UMNO MPs.

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