Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Both BN and Pakatan must stop practice of suspending 'wakil rakyat' from the House

Suspending a 'wakil rakyat' from Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies is very wrong - and both the BN and Pakatan Rakyat have been guilty of this. Tit for tat - was that what it was when Pakatan Rakyat did it? 

MPs and ADUNs are chosen by the people of their constituencies to represent them in Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies - and suspending them, and preventing them from being in...and participating in Parliament (and/or State Legislative Assembly) is so wrong, and is definitely ac act disrespecting people and a violation of people's human rights. It is certainly un-democratic - and must stop.

Privilege prevents the taking of criminal proceedings (and/or civil suits) against MPs and ADUNs for what they say in Parliament and/or State Assemblies - and there is a reason for this...which both the BN (and Pakatan Rakyat) seem to have forgotten. Going against this recognized freedom of expression...opinion..that must exist in Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies, those that have the majority use 'privileges committee' committees to exclude duly elected people's representatives from the House. A token suspension for a day may be acceptable but suspension for months...and months is really not acceptable. 

Fresh from Sibu a sucessful by-election campaign, two Pakatan Rakyat state representatives find themselves suspended by the Sarawak state legislative assembly for one year with immediate effect. The duo are Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa), who is also Kuching parliamentarian, and Dominique Ng (PKR-Padungan). 

Their suspensions were handed following recommendations by the powerful privileges committee's probe on the duo for offences allegedly committed at the assembly debate last year. 
NONEChong (right) was hauled before the privileges committee after calling rival party Sarawak United People's Party (Supp) "liars".
He was also censured for telling the state assembly that government policy caused the suicide of a hawker who suffered loss of business from a forced relocation of a public market.
"The blood is on the minister's hands," he was quoted as saying at the time.
pkr keadilan sarawak 170406 dominique ngState minister Wong Soon Koh (SUPP-Bawang Assan) referred Chong to the committee on May 19 last year after the latter refused to retract both statements.
Meanwhile, Ng was hauled up to the same committee last year for referring to the state assembly as a "kangaroo court" on May 9 last year.
"Kangaroo Court! Let's count the kangaroos! Hop! Hop! Hop!" said Ng (left).
Ng was referred to the privileges committee following a motion tabled by Bolhassan Di (PBB-Beting Maro). 
However, the duo will still retain his allowances and renumerations during the suspension period. 
Revenge for Sibu loss
In an immediate reaction, Ng said his suspension today reflects BN's attempt to extract revenge for DAP's win in the Sibu by-election on Sunday.

However, he remained undeterred and told Malaysiakini in a text message that “I'll be back!”.

Meanwhile, Chong stood by his attacks on Taib and Supp and will continue to do so because he wanted to send a message to the state government on behalf of his constituents.

“I was elected to the state assembly to speak for the people and not to bodek (brown-nosing) the chief minister or Supp,” he said.

“BN can use their majority to bully us but they will ultimately have to face judgment in the upcoming (state) elections,” said Chong, adding that the state government should take heed from the Sibu by-election loss. 
In another battle at the assembly today, a motion by Wong Ho Leng (DAP-Bukit Assek) to cut the salary of ministers by RM10 for not providing answers to written questions was rejected by the speaker.

Wong had on Sunday won the hotly contest by-election in the parliamentary seat of Sibu. - Malaysiakini, 18/5/2010, Two S'wak Pakatan state reps suspended

Dominique Ng (PKR-Padungan) and Chong Chieng Jien (DAP-Kota Sentosa) were each slapped with 12 months' suspension from the state assembly, effective Tuesday, for contempt.

The ruling means this will be the two Opposition assemblymen's last appearance at the current assembly as its term will officially end on July 24, 2011.

The Sarawak state assembly sits twice a year, with the first session starting in May and the second, in November, usually for state budget tabling.

Ng was the first to be suspended by Speaker Datuk Seri Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar after 53 assemblymen voted in favour od the suspension, seven against and one abstained.

He was suspended for his "kangaroo court" remark in the May sitting last year, during the debate on the motion to adopt the findings and recommendations of the Committee of Privileges regarding Wong Ho Leng (DAP-Bukit Assek).

Ng had said: "This is a kangaroo court. Let's count the kangaroos. Come hop, hop, hop." Speaking to reporters later, Ng said he was disappointed with the ruling as it meant that he would not be able to voice out the problems of his constituency for a year and would have to wait for the new term of the new state government to begin.

Chong, who is Sarawak DAP secretary, received similar punishment after 54 assemblymen voted in favour of his suspension and six against.

Chong was found to be in contempt of the august house in May last year for disputing and challenging the decision of the house over the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) engaging Chinese experts to study the flood mitigation project for Kuching.

The second charge aginst him was for imputing improper motives towards Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's, Department Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman, for allegedly indirectly causing a Gambier street hawker to commit suicide. - Bernama - Star, 18/5/2010, Two Opposition reps suspended from Sawarak state assembly

MAYBE A NATIONWIDE SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN SHOULD BE STARTED TO CALL FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE POWER TO SUSPEND A WAKIL RAKYAT FROM PARLIAMENT/STATE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES. (Maybe, even if suspension is to be used, it should only be for a day (or part of a day) - and that, too only for the purpose of restoring order to the House). The majority have really abused this power to oppress the minority...and both BN (and the Opposition) are guilty..

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