‘White Paper uploaded on Parliament website before tabling’

A portion of the Felda White Paper said to have been uploaded on Najib Razak’s Facebook page on April 9. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The White Paper on Felda was posted on the Parliament website on Tuesday – hours before it was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.

A Twitter user, writing under the handle @syahirsyhr, said the document was already uploaded in the “Risalat” section of the Parliament website before it was tabled by Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.

The White Paper was supposed to have been embargoed until 11.30am Wednesday.

In his winding-up speech, Azmin disclosed that Putrajaya wanted stern action taken against former prime minister Najib Razak for allegedly leaking a portion of the White Paper before it was tabled in the lower house.

He said he was aware that Najib (BN-Pekan) had published a portion of the White Paper on his Facebook on Tuesday evening, even though it had been embargoed.

A summary of the reports posted on the Parliament website on April 9, a day before the White Paper was tabled.

“How can a former prime minister commit such an offence? How can he publish a document yesterday evening, when it had been embargoed till this morning?

“So, early this morning, I have already brought forward a motion for stern action to be taken against Pekan. It is a big offence although it may be small to him,” Azmin said.

Najib had uploaded what appeared to be a screenshot of a portion of the White Paper on Facebook at 5.39pm on Tuesday.

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fazil alleged that the former prime minister had violated Standing Order 95A by publishing a part of the document before the embargo had been lifted.

Standing Order 95A states that leakage of such bills and papers, in whole or in part, before the stated date, is in contempt of the lower house.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad also weighed in on the issue, saying action will be taken against his predecessor.

He said it was a serious matter and action will be taken “so he (Najib) will be reminded that no one is above parliamentary rules”.

However, quoting an FMT report on the matter, @syahirsyhr said: “If (you) want to take action, take action against the Parliament staff for placing the Felda White Paper on a public domain, i.e. the Parliament website.

“Anyone who accessed the Parliament website last night could have downloaded the Felda White Paper (from the) Risalat (section).”