DAP appoints a panel of four MP-lawyers headed by Ramkarpal Singh (Bukit Glugor) and comprising Teo Nie Ching (Kulai), Lim Lip Eng (Segambut) and Thomas Su (Ipoh Timor) to defend Wong Chin Huat for breaking embargo on the Election Commission’s Constituency Redelineation Report
DAP has appointed a panel of four MP-lawyers headed by Ramkarpal Singh (Bukit Glugor) and comprising Teo Nie Ching (Kulai), Lim Lip Eng (Segambut) and Thomas Su (Ipoh Timor) to defend political analyst Wong Chin Huat for breaking the embargo on the Election Commission’s Constituency Redelineation Report.
Chin Huat broke the embargo at a public forum on “How Malaysia’s Elections Are Being Stolen” in Kuala Lumpur today and released the Election Commission’s report in full on NGO ENGAGE’s website.
Chin Huat said he was compelled to break the embargo as the contents of the report would have "disastrous" implication and he was breaking the law for the sake of the country.
I commend Chin Huat for his patriotic action, which reminded me of Gandhi’s Salt Protest and Salt march in March 1930, which started with Gandhi’s act of non-violent civil disobedience against British colonial rule to produce salt from the seawater in the coastal village of Dandi (now Gujarat).
I agree with Chin Huat that there is no acceptable reason for the imposition of an embargo once the Election Commission’s Report had been tabled in Parliament last Thursday.
In fact, there was no parliamentary embargo as Parliament did not adopt a motion to impose such an embargo. The embargo was announced unilaterally and arbitrarily by the Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, which was clearly improper, invalid and therefore illegal as outside the powers of the Speaker and against the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders.
Chin Huat is right that the relevant law is the House of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952, with regard to Section 9 which states that the Dewan Rakyat may “summarily punish for contempt by fine not exceeding one thousand ringgit”.
This means that the Dewan Rakyat must sit as court to adjudicate whether Chin Huat had committed a parliamentary contempt falling under anyone of the 14 definitions of “parliamentary contempt” under Section 9 of the Ordinance and how to “summarily punish” him for it.
However, notice has not been given for the Dewan Rakyat to convene under the Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952 to “summarily punish” Chin Huat, especially as Chin Huat has not committed any parliamentary contempt falling within anyone of the 14 “parliamentary contempt” set out in Section 9 of the Act.
How can there be any contempt of Parliament when Parliament had not passed a motion imposing an embargo on the Election Commision’s Constituency Redelineation Report?
In any event, the DAP panel of lawyers/MPs headed by Ramkarpal and comprising Nie Ching, Lip Eng and Thomas Su, assisted by senior DAP lawyer/MPs Gobind Singh Deo (Puchong) and M. Kulasegaran (Ipoh Barat) have been assigned the task of defending Chin Huat if he is ordered to “stand trial” in the Dewan Rakyat for commiting parliamentary contempt in making full disclosures of the Election Commission’s Constituency Redelineation Reports.
The Speaker’s imposition of a most ridiculous and undemocratic embargo on the Election Commission’s Constituency Redelineation Proposals Report, which had never happened with previous Election Commission Constituency Redelienation Proposals Reports in the past half a century, has raised the question whether the present report is the most dishonest, dishonorable, disgraceful and undemocratic one as compared to previous Reports.
Based on the so-called embargoed Election Commission’s Constituency Redelineation Proposals Report, which would be debated in Parliament tomorrow, Chin Huat predicts that BN stands to increase its number of parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia from 86 seats in the 2013 General Elections to 94 through further malapportionment and gerrymandering.