MP: Ensure immunity on issues raised in Parliament

Hanipa-MaidinKUALA LUMPUR: Amanah’s Hanipa Maidin reiterated today that lawmakers should have parliamentary immunity.

They should not have to fear the possibility of police questioning them when they raise matters of public interest in Parliament, he added.

The Sepang MP told the Dewan Rakyat that Article 63 (2) and 63 (3) of the Federal Constitution stated that lawmakers rights should be protected.

“But I have heard that Pagoh lawmaker (Muhyiddin Yassin) is being questioned (by police) today. Has he gone against the Sedition Act?

“I am concerned that MPs voices may be curtailed and there could be an impact on their rights. But under Article 63 (2) and 63 (3), lawmakers enjoy immunity, which should be protected.”

At this juncture, Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh (Umno-Setiu) stood up to suggest reviewing the Constitution to allow lawmakers to have immunity, whereby MPs could only be charged if their statements were seditious.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia said he respected the separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judiciary.

“The three (Muhyiddin, Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah and Shafee Apdal) debated in the Dewan. They were not stopped from debating, but the people outside felt they went against the Official Secrets Act or Sedition Act. So they were called in by the police to give their statements.

“After the statements have been given to the police, it is the Attorney-General’s duty to decide if they had gone against any Act. Only then can they be taken to court,” he said.

He said he would let the court make the decision and “it is not for the Speaker to defend or interpret. Let the due process continue.

“For me, my duty is to see the Dewan proceedings go on smoothly.”

Aside from Muhyiddin, former Second Finance Minister Husni (Umno-Tambun) has also been accused of breaching the OSA by divulging information from Cabinet meetings, also during the debate on the federal budget.

Husni was called to Bukit Aman yesterday to have his statement recorded, but the interview was postponed.

Semporna MP Mohd Shafie Apdal has also been called by police to give a statement over his recent speech in Parliament on 1MDB.