House can’t impeach Anwar, says Deputy Speaker

Wan Junaidi pours cold water on those who want to see Anwar Ibrahim removed from Parliament.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Dewan Rakyat’s Deputy Speaker today dampened the hopes of those who want to see Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim go through an impeachment process.

Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told a press conference at Parliament House that neither Parliament’s standing orders nor the Federal Constitution had any such provision.

“But if there is a motion brought in the House, it’s up to the Speaker’s discretion to allow it to be discussed or not,” he said.

Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia today quoted the ASEAN Human Rights Commissioner to Malaysia, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, as saying that parliamentarians could introduce a motion to impeach Anwar for alleged immoral behaviour.

Wan Junaidi, however, said the Dewan Rakyat could not remove a sitting MP unless a court of law had found him guilty of a criminal offence.

“We cannot use someone’s private affairs as grounds for removing him,” he said.

PKR vice president Tian Chua, the MP for Batu, said it was “stupid” for Shafee to come up with such a statement.

“Even a prime minister cannot be impeached,” he said. “What is Shafee talking about? It’s nonsensical.”

Yusmadi Yusoff (PKR-Balik Pulau) said Shafee should understand that not everything practised in the United States was applicable in Malaysia. “He probably thought about former US president Richard Nixon being impeached over the Watergate scandal in the 1970s and wanted the same to be done here.”

He described Shafee’s statement as “weird”, saying the Umno-aligned lawyer should have known better than to bring up such a question.

“Shafee’s statement and conduct show that he is not fit to be a human rights commissioner,” he said.