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Poh Kuan’s substantive motion to review Deputy Speaker’s unparliamentary conduct in shot-gun passage of amendments to Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders without debate on May 11 should be given priority for consideration so that the voluble BN MPs ignorant about the amendments will not continue to make fools of themselves.
What is the use of having 92% of the parliamentary seats when the Barisan Nasional MPs are not aware that Standing Orders have been controversially amended in the last meeting, resulting in the most voluble BN MPs like Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) and Devamani S. Krishnasamy (Cameron Highlands) making a fool of themselves.
DAP MP for Bukit Glugor, Karpal Singh was the first to invoke the highly controversial Standing Order 36(12) “deeming” an MP who makes “misleading statement” in the House as having committed parliamentary contempt on Wednesday, as he was the victim of such an arbitrary ruling which had resulted in his six-month suspension without allowance even before the amendments in 2004.
What is shocking is that even on next day when Standing Order 36(12) was invoked by several DAP MPs, including Chong Chieng Jen (Bandar Kuching), Fong Po Kuan (Batu Gajah), Chong Eng (Bukit Mertajam), the vocal BN MPs could still stand up to claim that such an new Standing Order was non-existent.
This parliamentary farce has highlighted another controversial aspect of the latest batch of amendments to the Standing Orders – that they were not given proper, in fact nil, consideration by the House on May 11 as the last item of business that night. The Deputy Speaker Datuk Lim Si Cheng who was then in the Chair violated all parliamentary rules, conventions, practices and procedures to effect a shot-gun passage of the amendments without allowing for any debate.
For this reason, the substantive motion which had been submitted by the DAP MP for Batu Gajah, Fong Po Kuan to review the Deputy Speaker’s unparliamentary conduct in his shot-gun passage of amendments to Standing Orders without debate should be given priority for consideration especially when the most voluble BN MPs are ignorant about them.
The amendments to the Standing Orders should be the first step in the long-awaited parliamentary reform and modernization to pave the way for the Malaysian Parliament to become a First-World Parliament as part of the national efforts to create a “First- World Infrastructure, First-World Mentality” Malaysia.
Instead, the amendments to the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders have become a subject of grave embarrassment and shame, not only in the contents of the amendments, but also in the manner in which the shot-gun passage was rammed through without debate!
How can we talk about First-World Parliament when we behave as a Fourth-World Legislature where MPs were not allowed to debate amendments to its Standing Orders?
If the May 11 amendments to the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders are not to continue to live in Malaysian parliamentary history as a chapter of embarrassment and shame, there should be a proper closure to this issue with a debate on the amendments – which, under the circumstances, could only be done by allowing Po Kuan’s substantive motion to review Si Cheng’s unparliamentary conduct to come up for debate.
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