motion to review and set aside Speaker’s decision to strike out of my
impeachment motion of no confidence against Election Commission Chairman
Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament House, Thursday): I have today given notice to Parliament to move a substantive motion under Standing Order 43 to review and set aside the Speaker’s decision to strike out my impeachment motion of no confidence against the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman and other members of the Election Commission.
My substantive motion reads:
“That under Standing Order 43, this House resolves to review the decision of the Yang di Pertua to strike out the notice of motion of the MP for Ipoh Timor, YB Lim Kit Siang, on no confidence on the Election Commission Chairman and other Commission members for their conduct of the 2004 general election on the ground of sub judice; and resolves that the decision is faulty and be set aside as the question of parliamentary confidence in the Election Commission (the subject-matter of the parliamentary motion) is different, separate and distinct from the question of the legality of the 2004 general election (the subject-matter of the election petitions and applications for judicial review).”
Standing Order 43 reads:
“Tuan Yang di-Pertua in the House or the Chairman in Committee shall be responsible for the observance of the rules of order in the House and Committee respectively, and his decision on any point of order shall not be open to appeal and shall not be reviewed by the house except upon a substantive motion moved for that purpose. Such a motion shall not require more than two days’ notice.”
As a substantive motion under S.O. 43 does not require more than two days’ notice, unlike ordinary motions which under S.O. 27(3) requires at least 14 days’ notice, Parliament should debate my substantive motion after the conclusion of the debate on the Royal Address next Tuesday.
My impeachment motion against the Election Commission Chairman, which had been struck out from the Order Paper on Monday, read:
“That this House resolves to impeach the Chairman of the Election Commission Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman and the members of the Election Commission by passing a motion of no confidence on them for conducting the most disgraceful and chaotic general election in the 46-year history of the nation, rendering the recent March 2004 general election the most unfair, unfree and unclean of all 11 general elections in the country since Merdeka in 1957”.
The Speaker’s striking out of my impeachment motion of no confidence against the Election Commission was most arbitrary and unparliamentary, undermining the principle of parliamentary supremacy and the doctrine of separation of powers between the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary; as well as going against the rules of natural justice in failing to give me an opportunity to state my views before striking out the motion from the parliamentary order paper, after the Speaker had accepted it as fit and proper to be included in the order paper for more than a week and after there had been question-and-answer as well as debate on the 2004 general election in the first week of Parliament.
When my impeachment motion against the Election Commission was struck out on Monday’s Order Paper, I had protested at the first available opportunity in the House, but when my objection was in vain, I had given notice to the Deputy Speaker, Datuk Lim Si Cheng, who was in the Chair, of my dissatisfaction at the decision and that I would be moving a substantive motion under S.O. 43 to review the Speaker’s ruling.
I had not done so earlier than intended, as I was shocked that the Speaker, Tun Mohamad Zahir had in an immediate response after question-time on Monday told the media that any substantive motion under S.O. 43 to review his decision to strike out my impeachment motion against the Election Commission Chairman would also run foul of the sub judice rule and would not be allowed.
I found the notion of a rejection or disallowance of a substantive motion to review the Speaker’s decision as provided under the Standing Orders on the ground of sub judice so bizarre and unthinkable because of its far-reaching adverse implications on fundamental principles of parliamentary democracy and good governance that I decided to take some time to mull over the issue.
I have now decided to proceed with the substantive motion under S.O. 43 to review and set aside the Speaker’s decision to strike out my impeachment motion of no confidence against the Election Commission Chairman and Members as I am fortified in my view after further deliberation and some research that the Speaker’s decision to strike out the impeachment motion was most improper, arbitrary and unparliamentary, which would be further compounded if a substantive motion to review the Speaker’s decision under the S.O. 43 should also be held to be sub judice and impermissible.
Under these circumstances, there may be no other option but to seriously consider a motion of no confidence against the Speaker for the two extraordinary decisions – which would be the first time in the 45-year Malaysian parliamentary history and would be most unfortunate, and not something I would relish.
Many grave and fundamental issues affecting the principle of parliamentary supremacy, the doctrine of separation of powers and the concept of good governance have been brought to the fore by the arbitrary and unparliamentary striking out of my impeachment motion of no confidence against the Election Commission Chairman, such as:
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman