SHAH ALAM, 20 May 2009: Former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo claimed his one-year suspension from the state legislative assembly following the decision by the state’s Rights and Privileges Committee was politically motivated and contained an element of revenge on the part of Speaker Teng Chang Khim.
Khir said the suspension meted out by the committee on him and four Barisan Nasional (BN) state assemblypersons was harsh and inconsistent with the state government’s practise of freedom of speech and freedom of information.
He said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s administration was trying to silence any form of dissent and criticism in the state assembly, adding that the suspension on him and four assemblypersons would hamper checks and balances of the state government.
“This (punishment) is more cruel than the ISA,” he told a press conference today flanked by assemblypersons Datuk Warno Dogol (Sabak), Mohd Isa Abu Kasim (Batang Kali) and Datuk Marsum Paing (Dengkil). The fourth assemblyperson Datuk Mohamed Idris Abu Bakar (Hulu Bernam) is currently overseas.
The Rights and Privileges Committee yesterday announced a one-year suspension on Khir following his failure to attend the Select Committee for Competency, Accountability and Transparency’s (Selcat) public hearing of the now defunct Wives of Selangor Barisan Nasional Parliamentarians and State Assemblymen Welfare Organisation (Balkis).
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This article first appeared on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 in www.theedgemalaysia.com under the same title. Used with permission.