Know Thy Constitution, dear MPs!

The Dewan Rakyat's House Committee had a meeting this week to decide on increasing the salary of members of parliament. – December 5, 2013.

Jerome Lee

Not a Free for All, dear MPs, or Know the Law, MPs!

Anyone who believes that an MP enjoys automatic immunity in Parliament is blatantly ignorant. I was just as ignorant until I was enlightened by Haniff Katri’s statement on ‘Politics of Gangsterism” which highlighted the fact that no parliamentarian enjoys full immunity from any actions according to the law.

Article 63 (4) of our Constitution clearly states that parliamentary privilege provides no shield against sedition law.

Parliamentary privilege provides lawmakers the legal immunity to discuss matters freely in Parliament but it simply does not apply in cases involving the Sedition Act 1948.

Article 63 

(1) The validity of any proceedings in either House of Parliament or any committee thereof shall not be questioned in any court.

(2) No person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him when taking part in any proceedings of either House of Parliament or any committee thereof.

(3) No person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything published by or under the authority of either House of Parliament.

(4) Clause (2) shall not apply to any person charged with an offence under the law passed by Parliament under Clause (4) of Article 10 or with an offence under the Sedition Act 1948 as amended by the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance No. 45, 1970.

Instead, the colonial-era law that critics say is used to stifle dissent contains a rare exception that is able to pierce the legal protection that otherwise affords parliamentarians freedom from criminal or civil liability for speech made within the walls of the Dewan Rakyat.

That is something many MPs are either ridiculously unaware of or refuse to acknowledge and obey for whatever agenda.

Voters elected MPs to be their voice in Parliament; not to make a fool of themselves by their disregard/ignorance of the law and then claim they are being victimized.

All elected leaders really KNOW the law, uphold the Constitution and do their best to serve the rakyat who put them in that position.

It is never a free for all for MPs in the House. Take note!