Karpal: Suspension unlawful

By Zuhrin Azam Ahmad, The Malaysian Insider

Suspended MP Karpal Singh said the decision against him and three others has effectively stopped them from performing duties related to being elected representatives.

The DAP chairman said their suspension, ordered by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, was not limited to being barred from attending Parliament sessions.

“We have been suspended from performing our duties as Members of Parliament outside the House.

“This is unlawful because Parliament is only empowered to suspend MPs from attending (parliamentary) proceedings.

“Hence, we can only be suspended from the service of the House,” he told a press conference at the PKR headquarters here yesterday.

Besides Karpal (DAP-Bukit Gelugor), Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR-Permatang Pauh) as well as R. Sivarasa (PKR-Subang) and Mohd Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) were also suspended from the House over issues relating to Apco.

The veteran lawyer reiterated Pakatan’s move to sue Pandikar Amin over the matter.

Azmin, the PKR deputy president, described the suspension as a display of Barisan Nasional’s greed and arrogance. “My friends and I in PKR and Pakatan Rakyat believe that the action in the Dewan Rakyat was politically motivated and aimed at reducing the voices of Pakatan Rakyat in the House.”

Meanwhile, human rights group Suaram felt that the six-month suspension for the three MPs was too long and harsh “for what is clearly not an issue of any urgency”.

Former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said it was embarassing for the Opposition to stage a walkout after the suspension.

Asked whether Anwar was given a chance to explain himself, he said the four had the option to defend themselves during the debate to suspend them but instead they walked out.