The Parliament Speaker’s rejection of the motion to discuss the seizure of Petronas’ subsidiaries by Sultan of Sulu’s descendants on the ground of sub judice is most absurd and ridiculous.
First and foremost, the matter is in litigation in a foreign court in France which is not within the Malaysia’s judiciary system. As such, in this case, the basis of the sub judice doctrine that the debate in Parliament may affect a judicial process is too just remote and far-fetched. How can a debate in Malaysia Parliament affect the minds of the judges in France? It just simply does not make sense.
Secondly, Petronas is a government owned company and all Malaysians have a share in Petronas. What better place it would be than the Parliament where all the 222 people’s representatives meet for a debate and discussion of this matter which affects the property of all Malaysian? As Petronas is a national company, the people are its shareholders and the Members of Parliament are the shareholders’ proxies and representatives. As such, MPs have all the rights to discuss the matter in Parliament and the people of Malaysia has all the rights to hear out how the present government has brought about such a disastrous outcome. Speaker should not stand in our way.
Thirdly, the way the Sulu Sultanate’s descendants went about claiming their rights over Petronas’ subsidiaries’ assets bypassed our legal system. The Sultanate’s descendants’ claim was based upon its alleged rights over the land in Sabah which tantamount to a challenge to our national sovereignty over our government’s rights on land. The claim is thus an affront to our national sovereignty. In such matter of national interest, Parliament is the most appropriate forum to discuss it.
As the Speaker is also an experienced lawyer and should know better that Parliament is the best forum to discuss this matter, therefore, the true reason underlying his rejection of MP Kota Belud’s motion to discuss the matter is most probably that he has acted at the instruction of the Prime Minister or the Cabinet for he is beholden to the present government for his office. By so doing, he has not only made a fool of himself but brought disgrace to the whole Parliament of Malaysia.
I called upon the Prime Minister to be gracious and responsible enough to submit a ministerial motion in Parliament to have the matter fully discussed and debated. All Malaysian have a right to know what actually went wrong. The Prime Minister should not hide behind the cloak of the Speaker’s chair.
Chong Chieng Jen
Member of Parliament for Stampin