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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cops did not ask for permission: House speaker

Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia will look into claims by opposition MP Lim Kit Siang accusing the police of breaching parliamentary independence when they questioned several MPs yesterday.

“The police cannot enter Parliament grounds without the express consent of the speaker. The police can only provide policing function on the request of the Parliament officials, sergeant-at-arms and the speaker,” said Lim (DAP-Ipoh Timor) while interrupting the debate on the Money Services Business Bill.

Lim argued that the act of police recording statements from Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) and Mohd Firdaus Jaafar (PAS-Jerai) at the MPs' lounge yesterday went against the principle of separation of powers.

parliament pandikar amin anwar ibrahim lim kit siang dap pkr pc 121108 02Azmin said he was caught off-guard as the cops appeared unannounced, while Mohd Firdaus told reporters that he had invited them over to record his statement.

Pandikar (left) then said that he had also found out about the matter after reading about it in the media.

“We didn't receive any official application from the police to do so but I understand from the news that both parties (the police and the MPs) had mutually agreed on it,” he told Lim.

Police officials from the Selangor police contingent headquarters had visited Parliament to take statements from Azmin and Mohd Firdaus, claiming that they had recommended the audiences at their publicceramah earlier this month to support and join in the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9.

Bersih 2.0 will march to the palace to hand over an eight-point memorandum to the King seeking, among others, the use of indelible ink and a 21-day campaign period.

Besides Bersih, Malay rights group Perkasa and Umno Youth are also rallying on July 9.

However, Lim replied that despite the alleged mutual agreement, the police actions still contravened the special privileges accorded to MPs.

“I ask for the parliamentary rights and privileges committee to look into the matter and come up with a proper guideline,” urged Lim.

“I will look into it and I will call the relevant people to explain what happened,” Pandikar reiterated. - Malaysiakini

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