Archive for November 8th, 2016

Had Pandikar committed the crime under section 124(B) of Penal Code of activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy when he egged on police investigations of three former Cabinet Ministers for their speeches on 1MDB in Parliament?

During the final winding-up of the 2017 Budget debate yesterday, I asked the Second Finance Minister, Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani whether and how the three former Cabinet Ministers, MP for Pagoh and former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, MP for Semporna and former Rural and Regional Development Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and the MP for Tambun and former Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Husni Hanadzlah had violated Cabinet secrecy when they took part in the debate in Parliament on the budget.

Johari was unable to give a cogent and intelligible answer.

I in fact asked Johari why he dared not repeat inside Parliament what he had earlier said outside the Parliament chamber, that it was not wrong for MPs and former Cabinet Ministers like Husni to ask questions about 1MDB in Parliament.

There was no answer from Johari.

Although the Second Finance Minister, the Minister tasked with the final reply on the 2017 Budget speech, does not know that the three former Cabinet Ministers had violated Cabinet secrecy, the Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia seemed to know more about Cabinet secrets about the 1MDB than Johari with his media conference statement on Thursday, 27th October that the three former Cabinet Ministers might have broken their oaths of secrecy when debating the 2017 Budget.

This has shocked many lawyers and law professors, as well as the former longest-serving Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, who was AG for 13 years from 1980-1993, who expressed surprise and questioned how the Dewan Rakyat Speaker knew that three former ministers had revealed government secrets when they raised the 1MDB issue during budget debate.

Abu Talib wondered how Pandikar, as head of the legislature, knew that the Cabinet had discussed the 1MDB issue. Also, how did he know what was discussed was classified information.

Abu Talib asked whether somebody had told the Speaker about it, and if so, Speaker should have lodged a police report against that very person who told him.

However, this most important question is whether Pandikar had committed a crime under section 124(B) of Penal Code of an activity “detrimental to parliamentary democracy” when he egged on police investigations of three former Cabinet Ministers for their speeches on 1MDB in Parliament – especially as the police seemed to be using Section 124(B) against all and sundry, including university students and peaceful critics of the government-of-the-day! Read the rest of this entry »

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