We were only doing our jobs, says suspended MP

Batu Gajah MP V Sivakumar, Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham and Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming have refused to apologise for calling for Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia’s resignation.

KUALA LUMPUR: Batu Gajah MP V Sivakumar, who was one of the three DAP MPs suspended from Parliament today, said the action against them was “regrettable” as the questions raised to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia were from the people.

“We do not know where our fault lies, we only raised questions that were on the people’s minds about 1MDB.

“When we meet the people, they ask us why we cannot get answers in Parliament as their representatives. If we do not get the answers here in Parliament, where do we get them?” Sivakumar said in a statement at the Parliament building here today.

Sivakumar, Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham and Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming were suspended for 10 days after they refused to apologise for demanding Pandikar’s resignation.

The speaker had rejected an emergency motion on the 1MDB-linked luxury yacht Equanimity and questions related to the troubled state investment fund.

According to a letter by Pandikar to Ngeh, the three MPs were found to be in contempt of Parliament for alluding that the speaker was assisting in the cover-up of a corruption scandal, which was insulting to both the speaker and Parliament.

Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee, who handed down the suspension today, said the three MPs had insulted the Dewan Rakyat by demanding Pandikar’s resignation.

However, Sivakumar said the trio were only carrying out their duties and had no intention of insulting the speaker or Parliament.

“We were carrying out our duties as representatives of the people who wanted answers on 1MDB.

“We expressed our concerns on the possibility that the speaker was being controlled and pressured by the executive and suggested that he could resign.

“We were worried about the speaker, that is why we suggested it. We wanted to protect the sanctity of Parliament, not insult it as stated in our suspension today.”

Ngeh meanwhile said Pandikar should have resorted to a civil suit since the statement was made outside the Dewan Rakyat.

“He should have filed a defamation suit against us or at least referred us to the Parliament’s rights and privileges committee to determine if we had done anything wrong.

“He does not follow the rules in Parliament but instead accuses us of contempt of Parliament.”

Sivakumar said it was a common practice around the world to suggest that a civil servant should step down if he could not do his job.

“We asked him to do the honourable thing, but instead he took it as an insult.”

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