Ketua Pembangkang writes to Speaker to lodge official complaint of breach of privilege by Deputy Law Minister, Rais Yatim, who threatened to take action against me for carrying out my duties as a Member of Parliament during the debate on the motion to repeal Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975
I have written to the speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Tan Sri Nik Kamil. to complain of a breach of privilege by the Deputy Minister of Law, Rais Yatim, who uttered threats to take action against me, including arrest, if i continued to say what I have said in the Dewan Rakyat on my motoin to repeal the Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975.
My letter to the Speaker reads:
Complaint of breach of privilege by Deputy Minister of Law, Y. B. Rais Yatim, who threatened to take action against me, including me, if I continued to say what I have said in the Dewan Rakyat on my motion to repeal Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975 on Oct. 27 and for its reference to the Privileges Committee.
This threat was intended to impede a Member of Parliament from performing his duties in the Dewan Rakyat, in accordance with the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders, as what I had said during the debate had been permitted by the Chair. In fact, an objection by the Y. B. Deputy Minister of Law about the reference of ‘hanging judge’ had been overruled, by the Speaker, and his threat to take action if I persist in what I said is not only a threat to impede me from carrying out my parliamentary duties, but a direct challenge to the Chair on his ruling.
The relevant remarks which contain he threat is in page 66, last five lines, which reads:
“Dan saya minta sebaga seorang yang menpunyai kewibawaan yang tinggi, kepimpinan yang terkenal di negara ini supaya kita menghindar daripada kata-kata demikian. Jika tidak, saya percaya beberapa peruntukan-peruntukan boleh diteliti dan mungkin melibatkan kesukaran kepada Ahli Yang Berhormat dan juga Ahli-Ahli lain jika perkara ini dibangkitkan.
This was meant to be a threat if I persist in the discharge of my parliamentary duties, by reiterating what I had said in the Dewan Rakyat, not only outside Parliament, but inside the August Chamber in future, is further seen by the exchange during my winding up of the debate.
The exchange between the Deputy Minister of Law and myself, as contained in Page 79 of Hansard, is clear that the Deputy Minister of LAW meant it to be understood that various actions could be taken against me, and although he did not himself used the word ‘arrest’, he did not deny or discount that the various actoins included ‘arrest’. As he said, “peruntukan-peruntukan yang boleh digunakan, maksud itu sangat lebar dan mendalam. Ianya mengandungi segala peruntukan dibawah Perlembagaan, Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri atau yang lain-lain.” (Page 79).
For the dignity of the Dewan Rakyat, and to protect Members of Parliament from being impeded in the discharge of their duties in speaking up in Parliament, such threats from the Ministerial front-benches should not be permitted, and I request the reference of this breach of privilege to the Committee of Privileges.