Suspended From Dewan Undangan Negeri (Part 1)

I was suspended from the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak on May 13th for criticising the Speaker of the House of being biased and unfair.

In this Part 1, I will only highlight the irregularities in the proceedings. In Part 2, I will post the hansard of the proceedings relating to the Motion.

On 13th May, after lunch break, we found a notice of motion put on all the tables of the ADUNs. The copies of the notice on the tables of the DAP ADUNs did not have the names and signatures of the mover and seconder of the Motion.

When Dewan sat, Jabu stood up and moved the motion. All the DAP ADUNs objected because the notice that we have was incomplete. The speaker and Jabu just bull-dozed through.

After Jabu spoke, I was asked to defend myself. Naturally, my line of defence is that I am justified to make the comment that the Speaker is unfair.

In my defence, I highlighted the clearest example of the unfair acts of the Speaker, ie. when it comes to criticism on the Chief Minister of Sarawak.

I went into specific encounters in the Dewan, eg. when I mentioned the words "Wikipedia" and the information contained in Wikipedia about the CM, the Speaker stopped me immediately on the ground that it is "sub-judice". But on the other hand, when the BN ADUNs sang praises of the CM, the Speaker allowed them.

If criticism against the CM is "sub-jice", then equally praises on the CM has also to be "sub-judice".

Even when I was talking about "Wikipedia" in my defence, the Speaker was trying to stop me and the BN ADUNs were jeering and booing, trying to drown my voice in the Dewan. Luckily I have a loud voice.

Throughout the proceeding, the Speaker was reading out notes and messages passed to him. It looked like he was taking instruction from someone. We objected. After a huge commotion, finally, the speaker took the advice from Asajaya (Abdul Karim) and adjourned the proceeding.

How could the Speaker act on the advice of an ADUN or another person as to how to conduct the proceeding?

When DUN re-convened, the Speaker limited the time for me to present my defence to 15 minutes only.

There were many interjections to my debate.

Finally, after my defence and Jabu's reply, it was put to vote by the House whether to carry the motion through, ie. to exercise the power under Section 24 of the Ordinance. The outcome is a foregone conclusion.

Then Jabu urged the Speaker to invoke Section 14 of the Ordinance to suspend me till the end of the Session, ie until end of 2008. Section 14 was never in the motion. Section 24 was the subject matter of the motion and under Section 24, the heaviest penalty is RM2,000.00 fine, nothing about suspension.

Again, we DAP ADUNs objected vehemently. The Speaker was again at a lost adn did not know what to do. At the suggestion of the Ministers, he adjourned the proceedings, supposedly to seek further instruction.

When Dewan re-convened, the Speaker merely read out his judgment, paying no heed to our objection and without regard to the fundamental principle of fair trial.

The morale of the story:

In DUN, brute majority rules the day. Standing Orders are only there to shoot down the opposition ADUNs. When it comes to the BN ADUNs or the ministers, provisions of the Standing Order can be conveniently ignored.

In this proceedings, the notice was bad, there were 2 versions of the notice, one with the signature of the mover and seconder (on the tables of the BN ADUNs) and one without the signature of the mover and seconder(on the table of the DAP ADUNs). Despite such glaring irregularities, the Speaker simply proceed with the motion.

The Speaker taking notes and directions from the floor instead of making his own decision.

Motion was only to invoke the power under Section 24 of the Ordinance but after finding of guilt, power under Section 14 was invoked.

This is a privilege motion which ought to be made at the time when the alleged offence was made. My motion against Daud the day before was shot down, inter alia, because I moved the motion 5 days late. This motion was moved 7 days after the event and yet was allowed.