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Nazri should stop acting as
self-appointed Super-Chairman of PSCI and clarify whether he had arm-twisted
BN MPs on PSCI in March to reverse their earlier decision to hear the then
ACA Director-General Zulkipli Mat Noor on serious allegations of corruption
(Petaling Jaya, Friday) : I am calling this media conference on the statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, on the reasons for the shock resignation of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok as Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity (PSCI), which has been reported extensively in the media such as “Dompok influenced by Kit Siang, says Nazri” (The Sun) and “Nazri: Dompok influenced by panel deputy chairman Kit Siang” (New Straits Times).
Firstly, let me say that I fully agree with Dompok in describing Nazri’s statement as “a cheap shot”. It is a low blow and most unbecoming of one Minister to make of another, especially when it is founded on baseless rumours and hearsay. What Nazri said was just poppycock.
Nazri said my alleged “influence” over Dompok was “causing uneasiness among other members of the committee”.
members of the committee had complained that Dompok was being influenced by
Firstly, Who are these “BN members” on the PSCI who had reported to him behind its back – which is a gross breach of parliamentary privilege! This is because the PSCI and Parliamentary Select Committees are only to report to Parliament and not to any single Minister, be he the Minister in charge of Parliamentary Affairs!
Or is one of the functions of the Minister in charge of Parliamentary Affairs to run a network of spies among BN MPs in the various Select Committees?
Secondly, I challenge these BN MPs on the PSCI who have been carrying tales of half-truths and downright lies against Dompok to Nazri to come out into the open to declare themselves; prove that they are honourable men and women and not “petty characters”; and explain why they had been guilty of such unethical, unparliamentary and disgraceful conduct.
This is in fact another chapter of shame for the Malaysian Parliament, coming so soon after the dishonourable and unresolved episode of the two sexist Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs, Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) who had brought shame and humiliation to Parliament, Malaysian women and the nation’s international reputation with their crude, vulgar, sexist gender-offensive remarks at DAP MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan in Parliament last week.
Nazri is giving a picture as if Dompok was so under my influence that he was virtually a robot and was only doing my bidding, while “unhappy” BN members on the PSCI were forced to along because of the BN culture that BN MPs must be robots to be “disciplined BN members” and to obediently follow Dompok, on the ground that he is a cabinet minister and “They will never go against him”.
To be fair to Dompok, at PSCI meetings he never decided beforehand what the committee should do, always putting to the Committee for a decision by vote if necessary. I do not see how any PSCI could truthfully and in all conscience allege to Nazri that the PSCI was being led by the nose by Dompok who was under my influence. Had Nazri been lied to or was Nazri guilty of concocting untruths?
This whole issue should be referred to the Committee of Privileges for a full investigation, as it has besmirched not only Dompok and my honour, but also all other members of the PSCI – and the honour of Nazri as what he said is completely baseless!
I will propose a motion in the June meeting of Parliament to refer this matter to the Committee of Privileges which can investigate me, Dompok, all other PSCI members as well as Nazri and let the real truth come out. I hope Nazri will agree to have such a privilege motion adopted by Parliament as the first item of business on June 18 when Parliament reconvenes.
Nazri said there was a wide gap between members of the Cabinet and Dompok’s understanding of the select committee’s scope and role.
He said the cabinet was of the view that the committee was formed to collate information on issues relating to integrity and come up with ideas and suggestions, like all previous select committees.
He said: “Our understanding is for the committee to meet people and obtain feedback and formulate a programme or find ways to improve on policy, not investigate people.”
There is no great disagreement here. What the PSCI had sought to do was to seek the co-operation of various persons and parties who could throw light on issues pertaining to integrity and which had been raised at public hearings when seeking public consultations.
It is clear that what miffed Nazri was the invitation in March by the PSCI to the then Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Agency Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor to give his views on the serious allegations of corruption in ACA which had been made by whistleblower and former Sabah ACA director Mohamad Ramli Manan.
I want to specifically ask Nazri whether he had arm-twisted BN MPs on PSCI in March to reverse their earlier decision to hear the then ACA Director-General on serious allegations of corruption in ACA, resulting in the farce of the on-off-on-off PSCI hearing for Zulkipli and Mohamad Ramli?
Nazri should come clean as he has now admitted that he had objected to the ACA chief being called. Nazri should stop acting as self-appointed Super-Chairman of the PSCI interfering in the operations and functions of the PSCI.
Nazri appears to have also become the champion of the National Registration Department which had refused to appear before the PSCI this Tuesday over the issue of false ICs in Sabah – what variously had been termed “Project False I/Cs” or “Project Mahathir”.
PSCI hearing on “Project False I/Cs” or “Project Mahathir”, which Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had recently denied knowledge, is very pertinent to the Select Committee’s core term of reference on national integrity for it highlights a grave absence of integrity in an important aspect of governance in Sabah.
Why is Nazri and the Cabinet so afraid that PSCI is trying to find out why there is such a shocking lack of integrity and absence of good governance for so long that there could be such extraordinary explosion of documentation of false I/Cs for illegal immigrants in the past few decades in Sabah?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman