|Khir suspended for a year||Rahmah Ghazali
Jul 15, 09
The Selangor state legislative assembly today passed a motion to suspend opposition leader Dr Mohd Khir Toyo for one year with immediate effect through a voice vote.
This means, the former menteri besar and Sungai Panjang assemblyperson can only make a comeback as a state representative in July next year.
The unanimous decision was made by Pakatan legislators as BN representatives had staged a walkout earlier in the day in protest against the motion to suspend him.
The recommendation to suspend Khir (right) for a year was made by the powerful rights and privileges committee.
It was made when he failed to attend an inquiry in March into use of Balkis funds, and for criticising the Selangor Select Committee on Competence, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) in his blog.
The motion also included a six-month suspension on four other BN representatives for questioning the integrity of Selcat.
They are Warno Dogol (Sabak), Isa Abdul Kasim (Batang Kali), Marsum Paing (Dengkil) and Mohamad Idris Abu Bakar (Hulu Bernam).
All of the state representatives will also be deprived of their allowances until the suspension period ends.
BN stages walkout
Earlier today, Khir led a walkout of BN assemblypersons in protest against the motion.
Khir was debating the role of the powerful rights and privileges committee which recommended a one-year suspension on him.
During the debate, Khir accused speaker Teng Chang Khim of being unfair to him and his BN collegues at the inquiry.
Teng, he said, had acted as the “judge, jury and executioner” in the matter.
“Democracy has died in Selangor… any suspension made by the committee is not legitimate, is polluted, biased and has bad intentions towards us,” said Khir.
“(Therefore) we don’t want to get involved with this biased and mala fide decision.”
At this juncture, several Pakatan Rakyat-led government leaders stood up to answer Khir’s accusations, but he walked out with other BN assemblypersons.
“That is what I thought. I knew BN was always led by someone who is a coward. If he’s a real man, he would have the guts to debate with us,” said outspoken Sekinchan assemblyperson Ng Suee Lim (above).
Khir: I was not in contempt
In his debate earlier, Khir explained that he was not in contempt when he was criticising Selcat, which he claimed is not part of the state assembly and referred to Article 70 of the state constitution.
He said according to the constitution, the House or ‘Dewan’ does not include committees that are set up under it.
“This means, the House does not recognise Selcat as its committee as it is only a different part of it (the House),” he said.
“I criticised and insulted Selcat, but the rights and the privileges committee does not have the right to punish me,” he said.
He then went to compare Teng (right) with parliament Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia who “did not even take part” in the decision to suspend Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo for one year.
“This means, the speaker does not have the right to take part in any (committee) proceedings,” he argued.
‘We are no cowards’
Khir said that Teng had actively taken part in the closed-door inquiry of the rights and privileges committee.
“It clearly shows that Teng has evil intentions towards me,” he said.
Khir said he and all the BN representatives were not cowards, saying that they did not want to get involved in “unfair proceedings”.
“We just did not want to get involved in the debate…if we did, it would mean that we agree to vote in the motion,” he said.
“If we did vote, we would lose anyway because we have less representatives in the House,” he said
He said the suspension will not deter him from serving his constituents in Sungai Panjang.
“I will continue to serve my constituents…and tell the people how cruel the state government has been to me,” he said.