Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is in Parliament today to meet with Pakatan Harapan lawmakers ostensibly over a “crisis” in the country’s parliamentary system.
Among those present were Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Lim Kit Siang, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Lim Guan Eng.
Dr Wan Azizah said the meeting was important to discuss the future of parliamentarians, whom they alleged are being oppressed.
“We are united to ensure that the country will be administered properly. The ruling party should be responsible for their actions.
“This morning every one who was in power or got oppressed have gathered in unison. We should not forget those who have sacrificed or are still sacrificing themselves for all of us,” she said during her opening remarks.
Later, Dr Mahathir claimed that recent decisions by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to disallow questions on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) showed Malaysia was becoming a dictatorship.
Former ministers who revealed information regarding the firm while debating in Parliament were also being investigated, he said.
“People also can’t speak and parliamentarians whose duty is to speak about these issues also can’t speak on these matters,” Dr Mahathir added.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman then criticised Pandikar for the rulings and accused the latter of bias, saying that the Speaker should be defending MPs’ right to raise matters rather than suppress them.
DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang then urged all MPs to reclaim their rights, saying that their parliamentary privileges and immunity were under attack.
“Parliamentarians should be come forward to defend it and the Speaker should be in the forefront to defend the parliamentary privileges and any encroachments,” he stressed.
The Gelang Patah MP also told Pandikar to “repent” and “behave like a proper” Speaker.
Among the other speakers today included former ministers Muhyiddin and Shafie, who are under police investigation for allegedly breaching the Official Secrets Act (OSA) by revealing Cabinet meeting details.
Shafie claimed that lawmakers were “not that stupid” to abuse parliamentary privilege and make criminal statements in the Dewan Rakyat.
“Freedom to speak (on issues) is for the benefit of the people,” he said.
Muhyiddin later revealed that he may be questioned by the police on November 15 for his remarks in Parliament while debating the Budget 2017.
“I just got a message that I will be called in on November 15. I’m not sure if they want to take my statement or have coffee with me,” the former deputy prime minister said.
Source : KAMLES KUMAR@The Malay Mail Online