by Parliamentary Opposition Leaders, DAP Secretary General and State Assemblyman for Kubu, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, on Friday, Nov. 21, 1980:
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association officials surprised by Malacca Barisan National interpretation of provision that a Assembly Member could begin to be absent when the Assembly is in recess
The chief Minister said that the Malacca Barisan National move to declare my Kubu seat vacant is based on law and not personal.
He said that the Kubu seat could be declared vacant because I had been absent without permission from the Speaker for six months.
The Malacca Chief Minister, Mohamed Adib Adam, is clearly trying to misquote the Constitution to his own interest. The Malacca Chief Minister must know that Article 17 of Malacca Constitution make it very clear the leave must be given by the Assembly, not by the Speaker.
Can the Chief Minister quote any authority whereby the State Assembly’s power of granting leave has been delegated to Speaker? Therefore three UMNO Excoz and two UMNO Assemblymen were also absent without Assembly leave on Sept. 23.
I have been touch with officials of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association based in London, to which conference the Malacca Speaker and other Malacca Exco members often attend. Official of CPA have expressed surprise as to the interpretation that a Member could be first absent from the Assembly when the Assembly is in recess.
As is now publicly known, I attended the April 8 and 9 meeting, and the Assembly was in recess from April 10 to Sept. 22. On Sept. 23, the Assembly met for one hour, which I did not attend.
When I asked the CPA officials whether from other Commonwealth Parliamentary experiences, absence of a member could begin to be counted from April 10, the official asked the question which I am sure all Malaysian are asking: “How could the member be absent from the Assembly when it is in recess. Ho could only begin to be first absent from the first sitting he did not attend.”
The Chief Minister’s claim that the Malacca Barisan Nasional’s move is based on law is completely without basis. I challenge the Chief Minister to refer the matter to court for an interpretation if he is so convinced.
In justifying his action, the Chief Minister said that it was time ‘I get a dose of my own medicine’ because I had played up various trivialities at State Assembly sessions especially if these were committed by Barisan members.
I do not know what Adib Adam is talking about, but this remark shows clearly that the Chief Minister is vindictive and that the move is political-motivated.
I have not played up trivialities in Malacca State Assemblies in the past. I remember that in September 1978, when the Malacca State Assembly first met for business session after the 1978 general election, I found to my horror that it was not officially opened by the Governor of the State.
This must have been the first Assembly or Parliament in the world which, after general election, met for business session without being officially opened by the Head of State. I raised this point in the Assembly because it involved in fact a great disrespect to the Governor, the Malacca Constitution, and turned assembly procedures topsy-turvy. Adib Adam probably regard this as a ‘triviality’ and annoyed for our pointing out such an impropriety.