Media Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Thursday, 25th March 2010:
Farce and fiasco of 24-hr resignation of Titi Tinggi Assemblyman exposes total breakdown of authority of MCA leadership
The farce and fiasco of the 24-hour resignation of the MCA Perlis Assemblyman for Titi Tinggi, Yip Sun Onn, exposes the total breakdown of authority of the MCA leadership.
There was none from anyone of the Three Kingdom camps of the MCA leadership who could reach and influence Yip, which had to be done by the Umno leaders, involving not only the Perlis Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Dr. Md Isa Sabu, the Perlis Speaker Datuk Yazid Mat but also the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
No wonder Yazid as the Speaker made the most eloquent remark last evening to the Malaysian Insider reporter “I am very tired. I think what I said is enough. The seat is not vacant” when refusing to further comment on Yip’s case apart from confirming that he had received an SMS from Yip informing him of his retraction.
Poor Yazid and the Perlis UMNO Mentri Besar, who appeared to bear the fullest brunt on the pressures arising from Yip’s letter of resignation – when it should be the MCA leaders but who appeared to be completely impotent in the matter.
It would appear that Umno is even more frightened than MCA to have a by-election in Titi Tinggi.
What a way to mark Najib’s first full year as Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The Perlis Speaker may have his political duties to perform but this does not mean he is right in allowing Yip to retract his resignation – through SMS and not even through a letter!
If a Pakatan Rakyat MP or State Assembly representative is to sent in his or her resignation to the Speaker who is from the Barisan Nasional, would he or she be allowed to retract the resignation?
The answer is quite obvious.
The Speaker must rise above the fray of party politics. Yazid told Malaysiakini yesterday that Yip had “repented from his action” and gave the assurance that “Barisan Nasional did not entice him to stay put as a state assemblyperson with any kind of offers or promises”.
How does the Speaker know for sure one way or another if he stays scrupulously above the fray of party politics in the Perlis State Assembly?
The Titi Tinggi resignation farce is another setback for the doctrine of separation of powers and the cause of institutional integrity.
The Speaker’s role, upon receipt of letter of resignation is to determine if that letter were freely made, and not forged or made under coercion that would otherwise render it void.
Once that is determined Speaker’s role is that of a messenger, to notify that to Election Commission (EC) whose duty it is, under present rules, to determine if a “casual vacancy” for which a by election has to be called within 60 days.
It is no business of a Speaker to be involved in the political “fun and games” of dissuading an Assemblyman to retract his resignation – whether monetary or material inducements or otherwise.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor