Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 3rd April 2012:
Parliament debate on PSC report on electoral reform - most disgraceful episode and worst blot on Malaysian Parliament in nation's 55 years
What happened today is the most disgraceful episode and worst blot on the Malaysian Parliament in the nation's 55 year history.
It all stemmed from the mistake made by the Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin who had rejected an amendment motion by the three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Members of Parliament on the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reform, Loke Siew Fook (Rasah), Mohamed Azmin (Gombak) and Dr. Mohd Hatta (Kuala Krai) seeking to incorporate a minority report into the PSC final report tabled in Parliament yesterday.
After the PSC Chairman Datuk Maximus Ongkili moved the motion on the PSC report after question time, Loke stood up to object to the Speaker's rejection in chambers of the amendment motion by the three PR MPs.
Pandikar quoted Parliamentary precedents from New Zealand and the United Kingdom and said there is no such thing as a “minority report”.
When PR MPs responded to Pandikar's invitation to quote precedents and pointed out that the Speaker had been wrongly advised when he claimed that there is no such thing as “minority reports” in Commonwealth Parliaments, Pandikar refused to review his decision.
Parliament spent close to an hour before lunch recess on the Speaker's refusal to allow the amendment to the motion on the PSC report so to append a minority report addressing the fundamental issue of a clean and comprehensive electoral roll and this issue continued to dominate Parliament when the House resumed proceedings after lunch with Deputy Speaker Datuk Robert Kiandee in the chair.
Shortly after the post-lunch exchanges, Pandikar made a surpris entry into Parliament and took over from Robert Kiandee and proceeded to suspend three PR MPs Azmin, R. Sivarasa (Subang) and Dzulkefly Ahmad (Kuala Selangor) for questioning the Speaker's ruling.
This reduced the House to pandemonium with all the PR MPs standing up in protest. This created a din in the House with PR and Barisan Nasional MPs as well as the Speaker shouting at the top of their voices.
Pandikar lost control of the House and hurriedly put Maximum's motion to a vote without debate, which was allegedly passed with the majority of MPs not knowing what was happening! The House was then precipitately adjourned.
A sad day indeed when many MPs had wanted to debate the PSC report on electoral reform.
Pakatan Rakyat MPs from all the three parties, DAP, PKR and PAS, were prepared for a full debate on the PSC report on electoral reforms, zeroing in particularly on the Election Commission's failure to ensure a clean and comprehensive electoral roll - the prerequisite for a clean, free and fair elections in the 13th GE.
In fact, only one of the eight Bersih 2.0 demands for clean, free and fair elections is being implemented – on the use of indelible ink.
Even on the 10 recommendations of the PSC interim report, only two have been fully accepted while the others have either been accepted only in part or rejected totally like the Election Commission's rejection of the PSC interim report proposal for a reconfirmation of voters' roll in Sabah and the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the serious problem of illegals becoming voters in Sabah.
Under these circumstances, can Malaysians expect the 13th GE to be clean, free and fair in keeping with Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak's claim of Malaysia as "the best democracy in the world"?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor