Azalina’s motion against Nurul a gross abuse of parliamentary majority and will open the floodgates for majoritarian oppression of the minority in Parliament which should not have been allowed by the Speaker in the first place

It is shocking and outrageous that a motion in the name of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Azalina Othman Said against the PKR MP for Lembah Pantai Nurul Izzah Anwar has appeared in today’s Dewan Rakyat Order Paper, clearly in violation of Standing Order 27 (3) which states:

“Except as provided in Standing Order 43 and in paragraph (5) of Standing Order 86 and 26(1), not less than fourteen days’ notice of any motion shall be given unless it is in the name of a Minister, in which case seven days’ notice or, if Tuan Yang di-Pertua is satisfied upon representation to him by a Minister that the public interest requires that a motion should be debated as soon as possible, one day’s notice shall be sufficient.”

Azalina’s motion clearly does not have the requisite seven days’ notice stipulated for motions in the name of a Minister.

Is the Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia satisfied upon Azalina’s representation that one day’s notice is sufficient, as “public interest” requires that the motion should be debated as soon as possible?

What could be such “public interest” when Azalina’s motion against Nurul is most spiteful and a gross abuse of parliamentary majority which will open the floodgates of majoritarian oppression of the minority in Parliament which should not have been allowed by the Speaker in the first place.

There are two major objections to such a motion:

Firstly, although couched in the form of a reference of Nurul to the Committee of Privileges, the motion denies freedom of inquiry and finding by the Committee of Privileges as it constitutes a conviction that Nurul is guilty of the charges made by Azalina.

Secondly, it is an oppressive and dangerous precedent to condemn an MP for violating the oath of office as a Member of Parliament “to bear true faith and allegiance to Malaysia” and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” on the flimsiest of grounds, not based on the facts of the case but on whether a majority vote in Parliament could be summoned in favour of the motion.

Would Azalina agree to amend the motion to also refer the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee as Najib was also in the centre of a similar controversy last month, when a photograph appeared on the social media of Najib shaking hands with the Jewish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations?

As Nurul’s photographed meeting with Jacel Kiram was as innocent as the photographed handshake between Najib and the Israeli Prime Minister, it is time for the issue to be put to rest.

There is no reason or justification to drag Parliament down to a new gutter level in the politicking over the issue.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah