By Melissa Chi (The Malaysian Insider)
￼KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 — PKR deputy president Azmin Ali called his suspension from Parliament together with three of his colleagues in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) a display of greed and arrogance which he claimed would cause the downfall of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
Azmin, the Gombak MP, said the suspension was “politically motivated” and was a move to diminish the opposition coalition’s voice in the Dewan Rakyat.
“My friends and I in Keadilan and Pakatan Rakyat believe that the Dewan Rakyat’s action was politically motivated and was aimed at reducing the voices of Pakatan Rakyat in the Dewan. This is a hindrance to democratic development and the honourable laws of the country. The country’s democracy is threatened because of leaders who do not have the will to change and do not want to uphold justice and truth,” Azmin (picture) said.
Subang MP R. Sivarasa, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh and Azmin were suspended for six months from Parliament yesterday, barely an hour after the House delivered the same judgment on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The opposition leader was suspended yesterday amid loud protests and a walkout by PR MPs who called the Dewan Rakyat a kangaroo court.
Anwar received the boot for claiming earlier this year that Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s public relations consultants APCO Worldwide had been behind both the 1 Malaysia and One Israel concepts.
The suspension motion cited the three lawmakers for contempt for revealing and discussing the proceedings of the Rights and Privileges Committee on Anwar’s APCO claims.
Azmin denied the charge today, insisting that he had not shown the contents of the APCO letter to anyone or brought it up during the debate in the Dewan.
“I did not touch on the contents of the letter from APCO Worldwide which was brought up to the Rights and Privileges Committee meeting on December 3, 2010.
“I suggested that the Dewan Rakyat discuss the procedures of the Rights and Privileges Committee meeting which had decided to bar the Permatang Pauh MP, who is also Parliament’s opposition leader, from attending the meeting and to defend himself from the matters being investigated by the Rights and Privileges Committee,” he said.
The newly-crowned PKR deputy president said the excuse used for the suspension was against the democratic process.
“The Dewan Rakyat’s action to suspend Opposition Leader and Permatang Pauh MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah and myself as Gombak MP for six months is not in line with the rule of law.
“The principle of natural justice was ignored where our right to defend ourselves from the accusations before the Rights and Privileges Committee was not granted. The Umno-Barisan Nasional government displayed its outrageous greed and arrogance in power,” he said.
There was no debate on the motion to suspend Anwar as Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia claimed that the opposition’s rowdy behaviour showed that it had no intention to debate the matter.
Pandikar then used provisions under the Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Orders (44) to stop further debate on the motion against Anwar, and proceeded to begin the voting on the motion.
“I am confident that the people can judge … Umno-BN, not respecting the integrity of Parliament and the arrogance of the corrupt leaders, all of these will cause Umno-BN to fall in the coming 13th General Election,” Azmin said.