BN MPs walk out after speaker maintains ban on MIC veep

KUALA LUMPUR: MPs from Barisan Nasional (BN) today staged a walk-out after Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof refused to immediately revoke his order for MIC vice-president C Sivarraajh to leave the hall yesterday.

They had asked Ariff to allow Sivarraajh to enter the Dewan, saying the speaker’s decision was wrong.

But Ariff, who is a former judge, said he would announce a ruling on the matter on Monday as he needed time to read the decision made by the Election Court on Sivarraajh.

“My ruling is final. I didn’t say I would make a ruling immediately,” he said to Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan), who wanted to know if Sivarraajh would be allowed into the Dewan Rakyat.

This created a stir as MPs from both sides put forward different interpretations of the ruling as well as the decision by the Election Court.

Yesterday, Ariff ordered Sivarraajh to leave the hall until he could confirm his appeal against the court decision to nullify his victory in the Cameron Highlands parliamentary constituency in the May 9 general election.

Ariff made the decision after Jelutong MP RSN Rayer asked if Sivarraajh had a stay order on the court decision.

The speaker then advised Sivarraajh to consult a lawyer to decide on filing his appeal.

Today, Ariff said he had met Sivarraajh and his lawyers.

“I told them to get a decision from the High Court so that everyone can understand the decision,” he added.

But M Saravanan (BN-Tapah) said this was unfair as the speaker had made a decision without reading the High Court’s decision.

“What was your decision based on?” he asked.

Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) meanwhile asked Ariff why Sivarraajh was barred from entering the Dewan Rakyat.

“That means you have punished him, even though you have not made a ruling yet,” he said, adding that the High Court had given Sivarraajh 14 days to appeal.

Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (PH-Kapar) told the floor that Ariff was clear in his decision yesterday that he was waiting to read the High Court’s decision.

But Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) interjected, saying they were not debating the offences but on the due process of stripping the Cameron Highlands MP of his privileges.

Khairy also urged Ariff to make a fair decision to prevent the incident from leaving “a black mark” on his tenure.

Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Bahru) meanwhile said only the Election Commission could inform the speaker.