Speaker’s prerogative to decide if questions regarding the RM2.6 billion donation and SRC International are consistent with Parliament’s Standing Orders, says Gobind Singh.
KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said “jumped the gun” in using the “sub judice” reason to stop answering questions on the RM2.6 billion donation in the prime minister’s accounts.
DAP’s Gobind Singh Deo, a lawyer by profession, said it was not her place to determine if such questions would be prejudicial to the Malaysian Bar’s application for judicial review, Malay Mail Online reported.
Instead, he said it was Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia’s prerogative to decide if questions regarding the RM2.6 billion donation and SRC International were consistent with Parliament’s Standing Orders.
“Only the Chair can say if the matter is prejudicial or against a particular party,” he told reporters at a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.
Earlier, Azalina explained that Parliament’s Standing Order 23(1)(g) bars questions that have a tendency to influence existing litigation before the courts.
Gobind said Article 36 (2) of the Standing Orders stated that it was the Chair’s discretion to decide if a matter was sub judice or not.
He also said that he had checked with the Malaysian Bar and found out it had only filed an application for judicial review but leave had not been granted yet for it to proceed.
Malay Mail Online also quoted Parti Amanah Negara’s (Amanah) Sepang MP Hanipa Mydin that until such leave was granted for judicial review, there could be no sub judice as the matter would not be pending before the courts.
PKR’s Kapar MP G Manivannan said the Opposition would not cease asking questions on both topics.
The Bar has filed for judicial review of Attorney-General Mohd Apandi Ali’s Jan 26 decision to clear the prime minister of wrongdoing in the RM2.6 billion donation case and ordering the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to close investigation papers.
Azalina later in the night tweeted this reply to Gobind: “Not a ruling but stating the related Standing Order. Within my capacity to ans on behalf PMO. U may raise but it’s sub judice.”