Speaker urged to stop police intimidation against Warisan MP over speech made in Parliament

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Opposition leaders have urged Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun to stop what they say is intimidation against Azis Jamman (Warisan-Sepanggar), who is being investigated by police over a speech he made in Parliament.

Lim Guan Eng (Pakatan Harapan-Bagan) and Anwar Ibrahim (Harapan-Port Dickson) were among those who stood up in the Dewan Rakyat today to express their disagreement with the investigation on Azis.

“Even the Speaker did not stop his speech, so we do not understand why the rights and privileges of MPs while speaking in Parliament can be trivialised.

“This smacks of double standards and intimidation of the opposition, regardless of Harapan or Warisan.

“We hope the Speaker will make a ruling…the Speaker should uphold the superiority and sovereignty of Parliament,” Lim said in Parliament today.

He also pointed out that no action has been taken against government MPs who suggested closing down vernacular schools.

Azis yesterday said he was called in for questioning by the police over his speech in Parliament on Budget 2022, where he warned of growing calls for Sabah to secede due to “unfair” allocations.

MPs have legal immunity to speak freely within the Dewan Rakyat. However, this does not apply to cases involving the Sedition Act.

Lim defended Azis, saying the Warisan MP did not say he wanted Sabah to split from Malaysia, but that he was only sharing what is happening in Sabah.

Meanwhile, Anwar said this investigation on Azis has created a dangerous precedent in the august House.

“I have also read the text of Azis’ speech, it does not tread on treasonable offences,” added Anwar.

He said Azis should have been referred to the rights and privileges committee in Parliament if his speech was considered problematic, instead of being subjected to police action.

“Parliament has its own ways to take action when MPs break regulations…I urge the Speaker to intervene,” Anwar said.

Azhar then called Azis to explain his side of the story.

Azis insisted he was merely stating the sentiments in Sabah and Sarawak to highlight the importance of implementing the Malaysia Agreement 1963 terms.

“These are the sentiments of Sabahans and Sarawakians. We don’t want to separate from Malaysia.

“I gave my speech after Jeffrey Kitingan (Perikatan Nasional-Keningau) and he said the same thing: don’t wait till the ‘golden geese’ leave.

“Why was I called in (by the police) but not Keningau. This is my question,” the Sepanggar MP said.

Bernama

“I will review the Hansard on YB Sepanggar’s speech. I view the matter seriously and I will communicate with the relevant parties so that the rights of MPs to debate in the House will be upheld,” Azhar said.