Saturday, April 10, 2010
'You're a dictator': Karpal repeats outside Parliament
Senior MP Karpal Singh, ejected from the Dewan Rakyat this week, has again termed the Speaker, Pandikar Amin Mulia, a “dictator” who has been getting on his nerves. This time he said it outside Parliament, without parliamentary immunity.
He also challenged Pandikar, a Sabahan who is not an elected MP, to step down from his post gracefully and seek election, possibily in the coming Sibu by-election, before re-assuming his post.
Karpal, MP for Bukit Gelugor, said he was prepared to face Pandikar in court if the Speaker wished to sue him for defamation. Indeed, he hoped Pandikar would sue him so that “I can put him on the stand and give him hell”.
He said: “I am again repeating outside Parliament without immunity that the Speaker is a dictator, who has been abusing his position. He had always acted against Pakatan Rakyat MPs.
“A Speaker should be a man of the House — neutral and independent, and should talk less and listen more.
“But Pandikar has always acted like a Barisan Nasional representative joining the onslaught on opposition MPs.
“He has got on my nerves and I am not going tolerate his nonsense any more,” said Karpal, who is DAP national chairman, at a press conference in Air Itam here today.
He criticised Pandikar for going overboard by acting like a “headmaster lecturing schoolchildren” during Dewan Rakyat sessions, although he was a “back door” member of the house.
“He is not even an elected MP, unlike his two deputies — Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Ronald Kiandee.
“It’s an insult to elected MPs for having to listen to orders of an unelected-MP Speaker,” he said.
Karpal suggested that Pandikar restore credibility, integrity and honour to the Speaker’s chair by stepping down immediately and returning to Parliament only as an elected MP.
“He can contest the coming Sibu by-election if he wishes to re-enter the Dewan Rakyat and reclaim his position as Speaker.
“Only then a Speaker can gain respect from MPs,” said Karpal, a seven-term MP.
Pandikar suspended Karpal from the House on April 7 after Karpal said the Speaker was a “dictator”, after Pandikar rejected an emergency motion by Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) to debate the termination of a controversial government contract to publicity and lobbying agents Apco Worldwide. Pandikar held that the matter had been explained.
Karpal interjected and argued that Pandikar himself had set a precedent by allowing a request by BN deputy chief whip Nazri Abdul Aziz under Standing Orders for the House to debate the possibility of Anwar facing the Rights and Privileges Committee.
Karpal, a senior lawyer, insisted that Pandikar, also a lawyer by profession, cannot overrule his own precedent. Karpal labelled Pandikar “a dictator” when the Speaker warned him of stern action if he refused to cooperate. The Speaker then ejected Karpal from the house, suspending him until April 17.
Karpal promised to be back with a vengeance.