Hazlan Zakaria & Humayun Kabir
Jul 6, 2010, 10:54am
Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia gave Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) several options today on how to tackle the June 9, 2010, incident in Parliament that saw several Opposition and BN MPs involved in a loud ruckus at the Senate House Lounge.
Addressing the Dewan Rakyat this morning, Pandikar (left) said based on reports he received from Parliament officers on the incident, he believes there is a prima facie case against M Kula Segaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) for his role in the incident.
“While generally I try to avoid matters like this from arising, (and) I don't want a member to be referred to the (privileges) committee and a motion (raised in) the Dewan against anybody, I'm always here to discuss and intercede on your behalf and solve disagreements.
“However, in this case, I have failed to do that. It is up to you, (Bung Mokhtar) and the BN backbenchers' club (BNBBC)... to bring this matter up as a motion,” said Pandikar.
The Speaker then said Bung Mokhtar can table a motion on the matter under Standing Order 27 (3) as a private member of the House to which he can make a decision within two weeks.
Alternatively, said Pandikar, Bung Mokhtar (right in photo, sitting) may request a minister to table a motion on which a decision can be made within seven days or, if the Speaker is in agreement, within 24 hours.
The Speaker said further that if Bung Mokhtar, who is also the BNBBC deputy chief, thinks the incident was serious enough or any of those involved in the verbal fracas had violated the law, a report can be lodged with the police.
"But as (ours is) a parliamentary system that practices parliamentary democracy, we stand by the principle whereby 'we guard our own integrity'. I don't want to see other parties intervening in parliamentary matters.
“But if you want to do so, I cannot but help to agree to an investigation,” said Pandikar.
Pandikar also announced today that from today onwards, it will not be sufficient that MPs obtain permission from Parliament officers in order to hold events involving non-parliamentarians.
“You can only hold functions on parliamentary grounds if you receive permission from the Senate President, his deputies, the Speaker of Dewan (Rakyat) or his deputies,” he said.
Kula Segaran, who is also DAP vice-chairperson, was among a number of Pakatan Rakyat and BN MPs who had clashed at the Senate House lounge after several of the latter were said to have intruded into an opposition-hosted roundtable discussion on the issue of tertiary scholarships for non-Malays.
Following the incident, Bung Mokhtar - who had protested the presence of "outsiders" at the lounge - moved under Standing Order 26(1)(P) for the House to investigate the pandemonium.
Action against aggressor or victim?
In a statement issued later today, Kula Segaran charged that the ones who should be the subject of any disciplinary action are those BN MPs who had “barged” uninvited into the Senate Lounge that had been specially booked by Parliament officials for the purposes of the roundtable discussion.
“Let's get the facts right on who trespassed into the meeting uninvited.
“It was the Umno MPs like Tangga Batu (Deputy Higher Education Minister Idris Haron), Lenggong (Shamsul Anuar bin Nasarah) and Kinabatangan who had barged into the dialogue session and acted like gangsters.
“So against whom should action be taken? Against the aggressor or the victim?” said the Ipoh Barat MP (right).
He also reiterated his stance against any need to say sorry to any party, even at the risk of being reprimanded or even suspened from Parliament..
“For the record, let it be known that I have no justifiable reason to apologise and I am no apologist!
“If need be, I am willing to face any form of punishment meted out. For I believe my stand is consistent with the interest of all,” he added.