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Deputy BBC Chairman Raja Ahmad Zainuddin should move a motion on Monday to refer Mohd Said Yusof to Committee of Privileges for Parliament to set a role model in upholding integrity as well as fully embracing Prime Minister’s National Integrity Plan
by Lim Kit Siang
On behalf of the opposition MPs, we pledge to support Raja Ahmad’s privilege motion if it is moved on Monday, and that there will be no “tit-for-tat” of the puerile mentality that BN MPs cannot support Opposition motions, and its corollary that Opposition MPs cannot support BN motions, regardless of their merit and content.
With the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi making the clarion call for “first-class mentality” and “first-world nation”, MPs of all political hues must learn to develop a parliamentary tradition and culture of taking a common stand to defend parliamentary privileges and dignity transcending political, party or personal differences.
How else can the Prime Minister’s vision of “first-class mentality” and “first-world nation” ever be achieved, if the Malaysian Parliament cannot grow out of its third-world or fourth-world groove to become a first-world Parliament?
MP for Jasin, Datuk Mohd Said Yusof has publicly admitted that he was the one referred to in the New Straits Times and Berita Harian reports yesterday in having asked the Customs and Excise Department to close an eye over a case involving the import of sawn timber from Indonesia. However he denied that he had done anything wrong or criminal.
Mohd Said should submit his case to the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges as the privileges of an MP and the institution of Parliament are gravely impugned by the New Straits Times and Berita Harian reports. I for one do not want to see a trial by media as to whether Mohd Said had abuse his parliamentary privileges. – a task which must be discharged by the Committee of Privileges.
Barisan Nasional MP for Tangga Batu, Datuk Idris Harun said he did not support my motion yesterday because it was too general and I did not mention the MP’s name.
I did not know then that the MP referred to in the New Straits Times and Berita Harian reports is the MP for Jasin. It could have been an MP from the Barisan Nasional or the Opposition, but this is quite irrelevant, as the principle at issue is that where the privilege, dignity and good name of Parliament is impugned, casting aspersions on the integrity of MPs, the one and only honourable option for MPs is to refer the matter to the Committee of Privileges for full investigation and recommendation.
The BNBBC had in an emergency meeting yesterday urged Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad to withdraw his resignation as BNBBC Chairman. I have no doubt that Shahrir would have no problem in continuing as BNBBC Chairman if Raja Ahmad moves the motion to refer the MP for Jasin to the Committee of Privileges on Monday, for it would mean that MPs have now understood the importance of Parliament acting and not just talking on the fundamental principles of parliamentary autonomy and independence, governing itself whether in terms of finance, human resources, privileges or other aspects.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman