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SIAL violate constitution - LKS
By web aNtu

21/12/1999 4:36 am Tue

Tenth Malaysian Parliament has become an international joke and laughing stock in committing statutory rape of the Constitution as its very first act today

The tenth Malaysian Parliament has become an international joke and laughing stock in committing statutory rape of the Constitution as its very first act today.

No amount of explanations and excuses can exculpate the fifth-term Speaker, Tun Mohamad Zahir Ismail, the fifth-term Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, his Cabinet Ministers and the Barisan Nasional MPs from the constitutional crime of showing utter contempt for the Constitution, Parliament and the Yang di Pertuan Agong in persisting with the unconstitutional Parliamentary meeting today.

Today's Parliament was summoned not in accordance with the Constitution, as the Yang di Pertuan Agong was wrongly advised to summon Parliament when the Cabinet had not been formed and had not met, Parliament wrongly advised to issue a notice of meeting to the 193 new MPs without the requisite minimum of 14-day notice, the Speaker Tun Zahir Ismail illegally re-elected as not in compliance of Standing Order (4) of the Dewan Rakyat requiring at least 14-day written notice of the candidate for the office and the oath-taking by the 193 new MPs consequently unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect.

Henceforth Malaysian MPs can only hold their heads in shame, whether in the country or internationally, when they identify themselves as MPs for the statutory rape of the Constitution.

Barisan Alternative MPs have at least redeemed the situation in their collective walk-out to protest against such a statutory rape of the Constitution and utter contempt shown by the Barisan Nasional to Parliament and the Yang di Pertuan Agong.

The first act of the Barisan Nasional after being returned to Parliament is to flaunt its political hegemony and use its three-quarter majority to violate the constitution and to further undermine public confidence in the rule of law.

Today is a day of shame for constitutional governance, the rule of law and parliamentary democracy. It does not augur well for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance in Malaysia for the next five years.

- Lim Kit Siang -


KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 (AFP) - Malaysia's new parliament opened acrimoniously Monday with the opposition staging a walkout in protest at what one called Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's attempts to "bulldoze" the constitution. Opposition MPs, whose numbers doubled to 45 in the November 29 election, complained that the parliament had been summoned unconstitutionally.

Mahathir's National Front coalition, in power since independence in 1957, holds the remaining 148 seats.

"This is another sign of the National Front's political hegemony," said Kerk Kim Hock, secretary general of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP).

"It shows the arrogance of the power they have been enjoying, which is manifested in the way they were bulldozing their way this morning," he told AFP.

Another opposition leader, Fadzil Noor, said: "If they can breach the laws at the first sitting we are very worried that they will continue to violate the constitution in subsequent meetings."

"We are staging a temporary walkout as a sign of protest," Fadzil told reporters before the opposition members returned to be sworn in.

Fadzil leads the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), the largest non-government group with 27 seats. He is due to become the new opposition leader in the house.

Mahathir hit back, telling reporters the opposition "seems to be bringing street brawling into parliament."

The king must act on the advice of the cabinet in summoning parliament. But he issued the notice on December 13, two days before Mahathir's new cabinet held its first meeting.

Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, wife of jailed former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim and head of the National Justice Party, told reporters: "The process to convene parliament did not follow the law.

"If we are forced to swear in on that basis, this contradicts the constitution," said Wan Azizah, making her debut as an MP after winning her husband's old seat.

"This sitting is not valid," Fadzil, also a new MP, earlier told the house before all the opposition MPs who were present walked out. He called for parliament to be adjourned until a new notice summoning it was issued.

"As prime minister in a caretaker government I have the right to advise the king," Mahathir told parliament. "We do not have to wait until a new government is formed."

Opposition MPs rose to their feet waving the constitution amid shouts of "sit down."

Mohamed Zahir Ismail, who was reappointed speaker, appealed for calm but supported Mahathir. "To me, it (the session) is valid," he said.

A bill providing for a stop-gap budget would be introduced later Monday, the premier told reporters. He said a special sitting to debate the full 2000 budget would be held February 29.

The government is seeking 18.429 billion ringgit (4.84 billion dollars) to meet its expenses in the meantime, plus 12.338 billion for development spending.

Parliament was dissolved for the election before it could approve the budget introduced on October 29. The government says it will be presented unchanged.

Mahathir accused his old adversary, former parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang, of being the "mastermind" behind Monday's protest.

Lim, the DAP chairman who lost his seat in the election after 30 years in parliament, Saturday accused the government of "statutory rape" of the constitution.

"He can still pull the strings so the opposition parties will dance to his tune," said Mahathir. "If Lim Kit Siang can be a puppet master in parliament, it is not a good sign."

The DAP's Kerk responded: "The National Front will always see Lim Kit Siang's ghost everywhere. They shouldn't frighten themselves with their own imaginings."