MP loses suit against Speaker for rejecting question in Parliament

By Azril Annuar
Lawyer N. Surendran (right) and Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian speak to reporters outside courtroom at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur February 19, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — The High Court dismissed today Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian’s lawsuit against Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia over the latter’s “unlawful” rejection of questions by the PKR lawmaker last year.

Hee’s lawyer, N Surendran, told reporters that Hee’s bid to challenge Pandikar’s refusal of questions on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in 2017 was rejected  by Justice Datuk Kamaludin Md Said.

“Today our application has been dismissed, unfortunately, by the judge with no order as to cost.

“Reasons were not given, but we will appeal, at which point we will get the reasons by way of his judgement,” said Surendran.

With next Parliamentary meeting set for March, Surendran said they will appeal urgently to ensure an early hearing.

A federal lawmaker himself, Surendran said that the matter must resolved as the Speaker should not be able to dismiss questions posed by MPs “at a whim”.

“We can’t have that, even the Speaker is bound by the (Federal) Constitution. That is, in fact, the important point raised by Hee Loy Sian in this suit,” he said.

The Speaker was bound by constitutional rules and was not permitted to act as he pleases, he added.

He said while the Speaker has the prerogative to reject frivolous and irrelevant questions, or those in breach of the Standing Orders, the latter could not legally refuse questions on matters related to public interest.

“This is a genuine question relating to the public interest. That’s why we say you (Pandikar) can’t reject questions for no good reason. He has the power to reject questions but not no good reason, not for unlawful rejection,” he said.

Separately, Pandikar’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit by Tawfik Ismail, the son of Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, against him for accepting a private member’s Bill to raise Shariah sentencing was postponed to Thursday.

Tawfiq’s lawyer, Rosli Dahlan, said the judge needed more time before he can deliver judgment that had been scheduled for today..

The same judge is presiding over both cases.