Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof says Education Minister Maszlee Malik will not be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee for using the word “gift” to refer to Sarawak’s RM350 million loan repayment to the federal government for dilapidated schools in the state.
Ariff said in order for an MP to be referred to the committee, there must be evidence that the person had made confusing statements or statements that are not based on facts with the intention of confusing the Dewan Rakyat.
“After looking at the evidence, I see there was no intention of confusing the Dewan Rakyat,” he said.
The RM350 million was a partial repayment of a RM1 billion loan from Putrajaya.
Lukanisman Awang Sauni (GPS-Sibuti) and Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) had raised the matter of Standing Order 36 (12), demanding that Maszlee retract the word “gift”.
Standing Order 36 (12) states that any member who imputes statements that mislead the house is deemed to be in contempt of the house and may be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee.
This sparked a heated argument among MPs over Maszlee’s use of the word on Oct 29.
Ariff said he had written to both Lukanisman and Shahidan but received no response.
He also said that a special parliamentary committee would begin reviewing suggestions on political funding.
“The special committee will study in detail suggestions made on the bill before forwarding its suggestions,” he said, referring to the Political Funding Bill to monitor and scrutinise funding, including donations to political parties. – FMT