Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia today declined to state if parliamentary speech should be fully protected, saying the judiciary was the proper authority to determine the matter.
Pandikar said his position as Speaker only entitled him to interpret Parliament’s Standing Orders, while legislation and the Federal Constitution were the purview of judges.
“It is not me who decides on the interpretation of the Constitution as a Speaker, because that is our system in Malaysia where there is separation of powers,” Pandikar said.
Pandikar was responding to a query by Sepang MP Hanipah Maidin, who asked for the Speaker’s opinion on Article 63 (2), (3) of the Federal Constitution, which dictates the need to protect lawmakers’ rights.
Hanipah’s question was over the police investigation against former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for allegedly breaching secrecy laws by revealing Cabinet meeting details while debating Budget 2017 in Parliament.
“I feel worried when a lawmaker who speaks on matters of public interest becomes the subject of police investigations; this brings a serious impact on our duties,” Hanipah told Pandikar.
He also asked Pandikar to direct Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar not to investigate lawmakers for commenting on 1Malaysia Development Bhd unless their remarks were seditious.
Pandikar then reiterated that he was not in a position to determine what remarks could be investigated by the police.
Muhyiddin was questioned today at the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman over his remarks, but insisted that these were protected by parliamentary privilege.
Other former ministers also under investigation for similar breaches of secrecy laws are Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah.
Source : YISWAREE PALANSAMY@The Malay Mail Online