Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Khir Toyo, BN reps suspended from Assembly - Star


SHAH ALAM: The Selangor State Assembly has suspended former mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo and four other Barisan Nasional assemblymen for one year and six months each respectively.

All their privileges as assemblymen have also been revoked for the suspension period.

The state assembly’s Rights and Privileges Committee had recommended Dr Mohd Khir’s suspension without privileges for not attending the Select Committee on Competence, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) inquiry and for allegedly making disparaging remarks against the committee in the media.

The other four Barisan assemblymen -- Datuk Warno Dogol (Sabak Bernam), Datuk Mohd Idris Abu Bakar (Hulu Bernam), Mohd Isa Abu Kassim (Batang Kali) and Datuk Marsum Paing (Dengkil) -- were also suspended for attacking Selcat in the media.

All hell broke loose at the Assembly earlier Wednesday when Dr Mohd Khir came out with guns blazing to shoot down the motion to suspend him and the other four from the House.

After a tirade against the motion during the debate, he and 18 other Barisan assemblymen then walked out and collectively announced to the media that they would be boycotting the current state assembly session.

When debating the motion to suspend him and his colleagues, Dr Mohd Khir lambasted the state government for “going against natural justice” by recommending the suspension.

He said Selcat had acted unfairly by not providing necessary documents to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for investigations to be carried out after the inquiry.

He also accused the state government of orchestrating the Selcat inquiry to “hide its inefficacy in governing the state.”

He called the Pakatan Rakyat coalition “brittle” and said it was a “sinking ship.”

“During my tenure as mentri besar, the state was never in such bad condition nor had it lost so much investment,” he claimed.

He said Selcat was “incomprehensible,” adding that was some confusion over whether the inquiry was to investigate the Wives of Selangor Assemblymen and MPs Welfare and Charity Organisation (Balkis) or evaluate state-owned companies.

He said he did not attend the hearing because he was not a member of Balkis and that he and his BN colleagues were slapped with suspensions because they addressed the state government’s weaknesses.

Complainant, prosecutor and judge
Dr Mohd Khir also took potshots at DAP assemblymen Ronnie Liu and Ng Suee Lim.

He said that his suspension was unfair because Selangor Speaker Teng Chang Khim had played the role of “complainant, prosecutor and judge.”

He said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had not participated in the suspension of Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo earlier this year, and Teng should have done the same and stayed above the fray.

Dr Mohd Khir also cited several provisions in the Standing Order, claiming that not adhering to the order of a legislative assembly committee was not tantamount to contempt of the House.

At a press conference later, Teng lambasted accused Dr Mohd Khir of misleading the public.

Accompanied by Deputy Speaker Haniza Talha, Teng said none of the Standing Order provisions cited by Dr Mohd Khir were correct or relevant.

He read out clauses from the Standing Order which stated that an act of contempt towards the legislative assembly’s committees was equivalent to contempt of the House.

Teng also said Standing Order provisions allowed him to be complainant, prosecutor and judge when the need arose.

He said this was reflected by his decision to throw Dr Mohd Khir out of the House on Monday for calling Teng biased.

“He is talking about ordinary court proceedings but this is the legislative assembly,” said Teng.

“In Gobind’s case, the MP was ordered out of the House for calling then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak names.

“The following day, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz tabled a motion to suspend him and he was suspended without being referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee.

“The Speaker did not participate because Speakers do not participate in debates and the motion was tabled by the Government,” said Teng.

He said it was a different scenario in Selangor because Dr Mohd Khir was given a chance to defend himself.

He said the former mentri besar had appeared before the legislative assembly’s Rights and Privileges Committee with seven lawyers, but had refused to say anything to defend himself.

Transcripts of the proceedings were made available to the press.

On Dr Mohd Khir’s allegation that Selcat had refused to give the relevant documents to the MACC, Teng said the findings cannot be revealed before they are tabled in the House.

“They have since been tabled and the MACC can get copies of the findings now,” said Teng, adding that the MACC had been invited to attend Selcat’s public hearing but it had not sent a representative.

MACC raids Selangor exco man's office - Star

Jul 15, 2009 By WANI MUTHIAH

SHAH ALAM: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers raided Selangor executive council member Ean Yong Hian Wah’s office at the state secretariat building here Wednesday.

The team, comprising officers from the MACC’s Selangor and Putrajaya divisions, seized a personal laptop belonging to Ean Yong’s political secretary Teoh Beng Hock and a desktop computer belonging to the state government.

Teoh, 30, was also taken by the officers to the Selangor MACC office to assist in the investigation.

The officers had gone to Ean Yong’s 15th floor office at about 3:45pm but left after seeing a big group of journalists there. They returned about 15 minutes later when the journalists had left the scene.

Ean Yong, who is the Seri Kembangan state assemblyman, said the officers had initially left the office because they were uncomfortable with the media presence there.

He added they had visited his service centre in Sri Kambangan at about 12:30pm before coming to the state secretariat building.

Meanwhile, Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San said the MACC officers had also raided his service centre.

Lau said the MACC had asked him questions about community programmes he had organised.

Ean Yong and Lau are among seven Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives from the Petaling District who are allegedly being investigated by the MACC over the disbursement of state funds allocated to their respective constituencies.

The others are Teresa Kok (Kinrara), Elizabeth Wong (Bukit Lanjan), Dr Cheah Wing Yin (Damansara Utama), Edward Lee (Bukit Gasing) and Hannah Yeoh (Subang Jaya).

Kok had said in a press conference on Monday that even the recipients of the allocations were quizzed by the MACC.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dr Khir ejected from assembly sitting- Star


SHAH ALAM: Selangor Opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo was thrown out of the state legislative assembly Monday for accusing Speaker Teng Chang Khim of being biased.

Teng had ordered Dr Mohd Khir to retract the allegation and apologise, but the former mentri besar adamantly refused to do so.

Teng then ordered him to leave. The Sg Panjang assemblyman left the chambers accompanied by other Barisan Nasional legislators.

The drama began at about 11:30am when Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim informed the house that Dr Mohd Khir’s lawyers had handed him a legal notice at the state assembly premises.

The lawyers had tried to hand over the legal notice to Ng last Friday at the assembly premises as well, but the DAP assemblyman had refused to accept the document.

The legal notice was to inform Ng that Dr Mohd Khir had instituted a defamation suit against him over his allegation that the former mentri besar had spent RM24 mil to purchase a luxury bungalow here.

Ng asked Teng if this was permissible under the Standing Order and if doing so was tantamount to disrespecting the House.

Teng referred to the Standing Order and said it stated that no legal notices or court orders could be handed over at the premises of the legislative assembly.

“This contravenes the immunity enjoyed by elected representatives when in the House and it is also a show of disrespect towards the legislative assembly,” said Teng.

He warned Dr Mohd Khir not to repeat the action and asked him to remind his lawyers not to do so either.

“As lawyers they should have known this as it is a Constitutional convention ... this is something that even first year law students know.

“It’s a practice that has been in place for over a hundred years.

“It also happened in Parliament once and the Speaker there had ruled that it cannot be done in the premises as it contravened parliamentary immunity,” said Teng.

Dr Mohd Khir then told Teng the Standing Order only stated that it cannot be done in the assembly chambers and not anywhere else within the premises.

“It meant only in the House (chamber) not when out of the House. That’s why everyone can talk outside, including reporters.

“That is also why reporters are not allowed inside the House (chamber),” he said, adding that the notice was handed over to Ng at the parking lot.

Teng then asked Dr Mohd Khir to specify which Standing Order stated so and when the Opposition legislator failed to do so, the Speaker raised his voice.

Dr Mohd Khir then told Teng that Kinrara assemblyman Teresa Kok had placed a legal notice on his table during the assembly seating earlier this year.

Teng then retorted that Dr Mohd Khir should have reported to him when the alleged incident had taken place.

Teng repeatedly asked Dr Mohd Khir to specify the Standing Order which allowed legal notices to be handed out in the legislative assembly premises.

The explosive exchange that followed not only silenced the House but also shocked a group of college students who were watching the proceedings in the lobby.

Dr Mohd Khir: “I plead with the Speaker not to be biased.”

Teng: “Retract that statement.”

Dr Mohd Khir: “I will not retract.”

Teng: “Retract or leave. No legislative assembly has accused the Speaker as being biased. I am giving you a chance to apologise.”

Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San then stood up to speak but was ordered to sit down by Teng, who said that he was capable of dealing with the situation.

Dr Mohd Khir, who left the assembly, told reporters waiting for him at the lobby that he was disappointed with Teng for telling him to leave.

He reiterated that Kok had placed a legal notice on his table in the House and he had accepted it “without much ado.”

He alleged that there were many personal attacks leveled against him in the House, and added that the proceedings in the House “reeked of personal agendas.”

“They don’t even know how to govern the state,” he said.

Later in a press conference, Dr Mohd Khir said that he would be instituting legal action against Teng.

During lunch break, Ng claimed that a legal firm representative had handed him the notice at the legislative assembly dining hall and not the parking lot as claimed by Dr Mohd Khir.