All MPs as well as Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia should stand as one on parliamentary privileges and not allow the IGP to thumb his nose at the August House.
Although I am still suspended from Parliament as Gelang Patah MP, I would add my voice to that of all MPs who cherish parliamentary privileges and dignity in Malaysia. They must demand that Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar not obstruct Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli from attending the last two sittings of Parliament on Wednesday and Thursday.”
Alternatively, Khalid should be jailed by a unanimous parliamentary motion until he purges his contempt of Parliament. If Rafizi does not turn up in Parliament on Wednesday and Thursday, Khalid would have violated the unanimous resolution passed at the beginning of the current session, instructing the IGP to ensure that there was no obstruction of MPs to make their way to and from Parliament.
Now, the IGP himself has obstructed an MP from attending the last two sittings of Parliament with the “ambush” and arrest of Rafizi outside the gates of Parliament on Tuesday.
If Rafizi was not allowed the liberty to attend the Parliamentary sittings, the August House should cite the IGP for contempt and put him in jail until he purges his contempt. This is not a partisan issue but one affecting the parliamentary privileges of all MPs, regardless of political parties.
The police arrest of Rafizi was a clear-cut case of parliamentary contempt, especially the way he was ambushed and arrested outside the gates of Parliament. This is doubly unacceptable and inexcusable.
Khalid should know that there’s a unanimous motion passed by Parliament instructing the IGP to ensure no obstruction for MPs to make their way to and from Parliament.
The IGP was trying to show that he was above Parliament, not subject to its instructions. He’s turning the whole system of parliamentary democracy and principles of government responsibility and accountability upside down.
I urge all MPs as well as Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia stand as one on parliamentary privileges. They should not allow the IGP to thumb his nose at Parliament.”
The question on whether the police can and should arrest Rafizi for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) was a separate and secondary question. Rafizi could have been arrested after the adjournment of Parliament on Thursday.
This arrest comes at a time when the Panama Papers revealed how some of the world’s most powerful people used offshore bank accounts to conceal their wealth or avoid taxes, raising questions about corruption in the global financial system.
I fear that in the wake of the IGP’s move to arrest Rafizi on Tuesday outside the gates of Parliament, in defiance of its unanimous motion, the whole system of law and order would come crumbling down.
Lim Kit Siang
Gelang Patah MP
DAP Parliamentary Leader