PETALING JAYA, 20 May 2009: DAP Member of Parliament (MP) Gobind Singh Deo is against the suspension of Selangor Barisan Nasional assemblyperson Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo‘s allowances and privileges.
Former Selangor menteri besar Khir, could end up being in the same boat as Gobind, the Puchong MP, who was suspended from Parliament for a year on 16 March without his salary and privileges.
The Selangor state legislative assembly’s Rights and Privileges Committee yesterday recommended that Khir be suspended for being in contempt of the assembly.
The charges included not appearing before the Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) to testify in the Wives of Selangor Barisan Nasional Parliamentarians and State Assembly[persons] Welfare Organisation (Balkis) inquiry.
Gobind was suspended for alleging that then deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was involved in murder and for insulting the Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker. His suspension became effective after the Dewan Rakyat passed a motion to suspend him.
In a press statement today, Gobind said that errant assemblypersons could be punished by being suspended from attending the assembly.
However, suspending an elected representative’s allowances and privileges would affect the assemblyperson’s ability to continue serving his constituents.
“The fact that the member remains an assembly[person] does not change even when he is suspended. He is still duty bound to see to the problems of his constituents and for all intents and purposes, his recognition as an assembly[person] in the local councils and all other government agencies continue.
“As such, he should be accorded all those privileges an assembly[person] is entitled to and paid his salaries and allowances so that he can serve his constituents,” Gobind said.
Although Khir’s suspension still has to be voted on by the legislative assembly, he has said that his lawyers would study the legal implications with the possibility of filing a suit.