Azhar Defends Decision to Stop Ramkarpal from Playing Audio

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Takiyuddin Hassan said checks on the Parliament record showed that the allegation made by Ramkarpal that an audio recording was played in Parliament in 2007 is not true.

An audio recording allegedly of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin cannot be played in Parliament as it does not fulfil the “best evidence” rule, said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun.

In defending the decision of Deputy Speaker Azalina Othman Said to stop the audio from being played in the Dewan Rakyat, Azhar said she probably felt that the recording was not the original and did not fulfil the “best evidence” rule.

“Moreover, there is a rule in the standing orders that says MPs cannot raise issues brought up in the media to find out the veracity of the article.”

He said issues raised in Parliament must be based on facts and not speculation.

Azhar was responding to RSN Rayer’s (Jelutong-PH) query on why Ramkarpal Singh (Bukit Gelugor-PH) yesterday in the House was stopped from playing an audio recording alleged to be of Muhyiddin.

Azalina stopped Ramkarpal from doing so shortly after he hit the play button on his device but allowed him to read out the transcript of the recording.

Ramkarpal had said during his speech that he played the audio to confirm if Muhyiddin was on the recording suggesting that MPs could be enticed with plum positions in government-linked companies.

Although the allegation of back-room dealings to entice MPs surfaced at the end of May, neither Muhyiddin nor the Prime Minister’s Office has denied it. Muhyiddin has also not held any press conference since March 11.

“We have also not heard the recording and we want to hear it. Furthermore, there is precedent as Karpal Singh (former Bukit Gelugor MP) had done it before,” said Rayer today.

But Azhar defended Azalina’s decision and said he would not revisit it.

“I saw the proceedings yesterday and found that Azalina has made her ruling. I cannot revisit her ruling as it’s improper to make another ruling. That’s final,” said Azhar.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said checks on the Parliament record showed that the allegation made by Ramkarpal that an audio recording was played in Parliament in 2007 is not true.

FMT

“It is hereby stressed that the Bukit Gelugor MP’s allegation is baseless and indeed it is a remark that misled the Dewan Rakyat, which is an offence under Standing Order 36 (12),” he said in a statement today.

Nevertheless, Takiyuddin said Ramkarpal has been given the benefit of the doubt and was asked to prove his allegation before the end of today’s Dewan Rakyat sitting, failing which the MP may be referred to the Committee of Privileges for the offence.

Yesterday, during the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address, Ramkarpal in his effort to play an audio material, said that the practice allowing such material to be played in the Dewan Rakyat had been done before.

He claimed that it was done when then Bukit Gelugor MP (Karpal Singh) played a video or audio recording related to the corruption allegation against the former Chief Justice.

“I believed it would have been around 2007 if I’m not mistaken where the former Bukit Gelugor MP as well had done the same, played a video or audio recording in Parliament for the purpose of informing the House.

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“Because in this part of my speech, this is part of what I want to point out in my debate,” he said.

When met by reporters later at the media centre in the Parliament, Ramkarpal said he was currently going through Parliament records and would prove his claim by today.

“We are searching for it, but I know for sure it was from 2009 (when Karpal played an audio recording as part of his speech in Dewan Rakyat),” he said.