Minister in charge of parliamentary affairs warns MPs of conduct in Dewan Rakyat, and says any investigation is only part of standard procedure.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said pointed out that the probe was only initiated following police reports lodged against the duo.
“The Opposition should not panic (melatah) when any member of Parliament is investigated,” she said in a statement today.
“The police were merely acting based on reports lodged. Whether the party called (to have their statement recorded) has committed an offence or not, that depends on the authorities’ probe.”
Both former second finance minister Husni and former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin are currently under investigation for allegedly breaching their oath of secrecy by speaking on matters that took place while they were still in the Cabinet.
The Opposition lawmakers have expressed strong objections over the move which they claim is against the spirit of parliamentary democracy.
This is especially so as Article 63(2) of the Federal Constitution grants lawmakers with criminal and civil immunity over what is said in the Dewan Rakyat, even for offences under the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA).
Azalina however, said that the immunity should not be misused, and that it does not mean a lawmaker can belittle and disrespect the position of a Dewan Rakyat Speaker, or to insult the House.
“All Members of Parliament need to be responsible for the statements they make, and they should not misuse the immunity provided to them.
“What is more disappointing is when there are lawmakers who (have acted in ways that) have insulted the House.
“Every member (of the House) should be using this platform to debate on matters that are beneficial to the public, and the issues affecting their constituencies.”
Azalina then stated that the immunity is not absolute, and MPs who were or are currently holding a ministerial post should uphold the oath of secrecy they undertook, and avoid leaking information that was discussed inside the Cabinet.
“The immunity is subjected to four provisions as are listed under Article 63 of the Federal Constitution. Hence, members of Parliament cannot act as they please, to the point of tainting the Dewan’s good name and prestige.