By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 16.12.1989
DAP’s strong protest that Parliamentary has not been extended for another day on Monday because of the Barisan Nasional government’s fears that the DAP would again raise the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal
DAP wishes to protest in the strongest possible terms that Dewan Rakyat was not extended for another day on Monday because of the government’s fear that the DAP would again raise the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal issue.
The cabinet, at its meeting on Wednesday, decided that D.P. Vijandran should not act as Deputy Speaker from that date till the end of the meeting. The Cabinet also decided that Parliament would be extended for another day on the coming Monday, 18th December 1989, if the parliamentary business on the Order Paper could not be completed.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Members of Parliament were privately told that Parliament would be extended to Monday, as it was clearly impossible to do justice to the huge load of parliamentary business pending before the House.
Yesterday, however, the decision was taken at high levels to rush through and complete all government business, even though it was most unfair and unjust, as the government feared that if Parliament is extended to next Monday, the DAP would again raise the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal issue.
As a result, the Dewan Rakyat passed 10 bills in one day, and even though Parliament sat till shortly after 11 p.m., there was minimal debate. Four DAP motions were left undebated. One was by DAP Secretary-General, Lee Lam Thye, on the establishment of an Ombudsman to overseer government maladministration; another was my motion on the Peace Agreement signed in Haayai on 2nd December by the Malaysian and Thai governments and the Communist Party of Malaya on the laying down of the armed struggle by the CPM. Two other motions, standing in my name, concerned the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal, including one to suspend Vijandran as Deputy Speaker and to refer him to the Committee of Privileges.
This is most disgraceful – where the parliamentary business of a notion had to be re-ordered and shortened because of the scandal involving one person in parliament!
DAP would definitely have raised the Vijandran issue in Parliament had it sat on Monday. I have yesterday given notice to move a substantive motion under Standing Order 42 to rescind the decision of D.P. Vinjandran to suspend DAP MP for Jelutong, Karpal Singh, on Monday and DAP MP for Ipoh, P.Patto on Tuesday, on Vijandran had violated the rules of natural justice and showed bias as Deputy Speaker. Vijandran had in fact acted to suspend Karpal Singh and Patto in a case where he himself was an interested party. Vijandran was judge, jury, prosecutor and accused all in one, when he suspended Karpal and Patto early this week!
My motion to rescinded the suspension of Karpal and Patto required two days’ notice, which would have been complied on Monday – and I would have insisted that the substantive motion to review Vijandran’s motion be debated in Parliament on Monday.
I would have also invoked Standing Order 22(1) which entitled me to ask questions, without giving notice, to the Home Minister, on the results of police investigations and reports of the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal as the Standing Order permits questions to be asked without notice on matters of “an urgent character and relate either to a matter of public importance or to the arrangement of public business” after permission had been obtained from the Speaker.
The Government should not think that the Vijandran issue would blow away by just refusing to extend Parliament for another day on Monday; this is no more an issue concerning one MP, but an issue affecting the dignity, honour and standing of the whole Parliament.
Several Ministers had openly supported D.P. Vijandran last Monday and Tuesday, in responding to Vijandran’s call for motions to be moved by Ministers to suspend Karpal Singh and P.Patto. the Malaysian public have a right to know whether the entire government, all the Ministers and all the component Barisan Nasional parties are fully behind D.P Vijandran in this issue of the pornographic videotape scandal.