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Double standards, rumours and immunity

Double standards

“Speaker, don’t play around. You are not serious.”

DAP’s Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament (MP) Karpal Singh, demanding that Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia discipline Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (Barisan Nasional) for calling opposition MP Wee Choo Keong (Parti Keadilan Rakyat-Wangsa Maju) “buta” (blind) on 23 Oct 2008. Nazri was not chastised, but Karpal was suspended for two days for using “disrespectful words in the House”.

“How do you know this? You bloody b*****d? Show me proof.”

Pasir Salak MP Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman Tajuddin (BN) shouted at M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat), who said on 6 Nov that Tajuddin was “hated by the Indians in Pasir Salak”. Deputy speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told Tajuddin to retract the word but did not suspend him. Asked why Karpal was suspended in a previous incident while Tajuddin got off scot-free, he said the decision on Karpal was made by Pandikar Amin, who was chairing then.

“There’s a lot of speculation and talk going around. But none of it holds water. The public should not listen to rumours.”

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak brushed off speculation that petrol prices will increase by 40 sen following the government’s plan to restructure the subsidy system. Four days later, on 4 June, the government raised the price of petrol by 78 sen per litre to RM2.70, and the price of diesel by RM1 per litre to RM2.58.

“Umno members only have to answer to the disciplinary committee and are punished according to party regulations for party dealings. They have immunity to laws outside the jurisdiction of the party.”

Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Nazri Aziz commenting, in Nov 2006, that the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) does not have powers to initiate investigations on reports and charges of money politics and bribery in Umno. He said Umno, as an organisation, has the right to discipline its members according to its regulations without involving the ACA.

“Investigations into these allegations are ongoing and it involves all levels in the divisions nationwide. Umno can ask for our help to weed out corruption in the party. However, the ACA can and will investigate money politics in Umno even if our help is not sought. We do not have to inform anyone beforehand.”

ACA investigations director Datuk Shukri Abdull commenting on news reports that money politics have become deeply rooted in Umno. He said this at the ACA’s 41st-year anniversary celebration on 31 Oct 2008, which Nazri attended.

“The president stressed to us that if possible, we should speed up the probes into these cases so that those found guilty of indulging in money politics would not be able to contest [in the party polls in March 2009].”

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, on 9 Nov 2008. He was commenting on the request by Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the party’s disciplinary board to speed up investigations into 900 complaints on money politics in the party. Tengku Adnan said the board would work with the ACA.

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