Dewan Rakyat to probe alleged obstruction of Wee

Written by Sharon Tan & Yong Min Wei, The Edge  

Dewan Rakyat will investigate an incident in which Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju-PKR) alleged he was obstructed by Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s political secretary Datuk Shafei Abdullah from voicing his rights in parliament.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee told Dewan Rakyat that a thorough investigation would be conducted to decide if there was a need to invoke Standing Order 80A as called by Wee in his motion.

“I cannot decide now to form a committee under 80A, but I and parliament will investigate this matter. A detailed investigation will be conducted to establish whether there is a need to bring this case under 80A.

“A decision will be made later. And as soon as we have got further information on this, we will bring it to the House,” Kiandee said, adding that the investigation would be carried out immediately.

Under Standing Order 80A, the House may appoint a committee to inquire into a case that it has commissioned as punishable as contempt under the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Ordinance 1952 and take the appropriate action.

Later, at a press conference, Wee said Shafei had approached him in parliament lobby on Monday evening after he (Wee) had mentioned Shafei’s name during his debate at committee stage on the Federal Territory Ministry.

“I was talking to a ministry officer at the lobby; he came up to me with an angry face and a rude behaviour and demanded (to know) why I had brought things up against him in the noble House.

“I explained to him it is my right as an MP as we have the privileges to debate with all freedom and shall not be obstructed by anyone including the prime minister or the minister in charge of parliament,” he said, adding that the ministry officer left the scene immediately when Shafei raised his voice, with Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri (Bagan Serai-PKR) a witness to the encounter.

During his debate on Monday, Wee said Shafei, whom he repeatedly labelled as “Mr Political Toll”, had acted as de factomayor by instructing City Hall not to act against illegal stalls in Wangsa Maju which had been a nuisance to the public.

Wee told the press that Shafei had been meddling with City Hall’s administration in many cases related to illegal stalls, pasar malam and surau.

“This is the problem with political secretaries. They don’t take care of their bosses but instead they were playing politics on the ground. This is what we call Little Napoleons,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said MPs were free to speak their mind in the House.

“As the minister in charge of parliament, I cannot obstruct an MP from debating an issue although it may involve certain individuals. If you are not happy, you can ask them to repeat what they said outside the House, then only you can sue them.

“But in the House, they have the immunity. If it was true that he has obstructed Wangsa Maju as alleged, then for me it’s a serious matter,” he said, adding that a lot of things also had been said against him in the House but he could not ask MPs to stop saying things about him.