Pandikar slams Opposition MPs, threatens to take action

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia (pix) rapped Opposition MPs for challenging him to resign from his post.

Reiterating that his decisions are final and cannot be questioned, he threatened to take action against any MP who fails to abide by his rulings.

"If any of you receive my written letter on your motions and still stand up (to question my decision) like this now, I will not hesitate to take action (against you). Now you (try) standing again and see. Do you want me to eject you?

"When I make a ruling verbally or in chambers, it means I have made my decision!" Pandikar said.

Reprimanding the Opposition MPs for making press statements challenging him to resign, he said action can be taken against them for contempt of the Dewan or the Speaker as per the Standing Order.

"All the MPs present listen, I am always asked to make a ruling (on pertinent matters). When I make a ruling that is favourable to you, you are happy. But if my ruling is not favourable to you, there are among you who will go and make a press statement outside the Dewan and challenge me to resign from my post.

"Read Standing Order 41-44, read all of them! That is why I always tell that when a Speaker makes a ruling, he is not obliged to give explanations or reasonings for his rulings. It does not happen like this in any other Parliaments (in the world)," he said.

Citing the rules in other countries, he related the practice in India stating that it is the right of the Speaker to interpret the constitution rules and no one including the government can enter into an argument or controversy with the Speaker over such an interpretation.

"The Speaker's ruling as already stated cannot questioned except on a substantive motion. A member who protests a ruling of the Speaker commits contempt of the House or the Speaker," Pandikar said.

Pandikar had rejected a motion by Charles Santiago (DAP-Klang) to debate the findings of Unicef's report on higher poverty and malnutrition among children living in low-cost housing in KL.

In a written letter rejecting the motion by Santiago, Pandikar said the matter was not urgent or related to public interest, adding that various government agencies are already studying the report.