Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Alice Lau this morning ordered her fellow party leader Khoo Poay Tiong (Pakatan Harapan-Kota Melaka) to retract a statement he made against former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin (Perikatan Nasional-Pagoh).
This comes after Khoo, who is from DAP, alleged that Muhyiddin was involved in awarding a government contract to his son-in-law, Adlan Berhan, something which the former prime minister has denied.
“The whole country knows this. It was reported in the newspaper that MACC is investigating Pagoh’s son-in-law. The whole world knows this.
“I dare to say this here, according to the news report, that Pagoh’s son-in-law is being investigated by MACC,” he said when debating the 2023 Budget Bill.
Khoo made the allegation after opposition chief Hamzah Zainudin (PN-Larut) challenged him to repeat a part of his speech, where the Malacca DAP vice-chief insinuated that a former country leader had given the National Integrated Immigration System (NIISe) contract to a relative.
The DAP leader’s statement then riled up opposition MPs, who told Khoo to retract it and urged the deputy speaker who was presiding this morning’s session to make a ruling.
Following this, Lau asked Khoo to explain his statement and reveal which newspaper and the date of the report he was citing.
However, after RSN Rayer (Harapan-Jelutong) aided Khoo to provide the facts, citing a New Straits Times report on Feb 9, Awang Hashim (PN-Pendang) immediately interjected, saying that Muhyiddin has already denied the accusation.
A ruckus erupted again before Lau called for Muhyiddin to speak and explain, to which the former prime minister reiterated his denial.
“This allegation was slander. I have said this before, it was not true. It was a very serious accusation aimed at humiliating me and my family.
“Just because you read it from the newspaper…in today’s world, even the newspapers contain fake news and prejudices (sangkaan buruk).
“I want to explain here that the claim was not true. The contract was given based on a decision made by a committee through an open tender process, and it was given to a company that is not owned by my in-law,” he said.
Muhyiddin also challenged Khoo to repeat his accusation outside the House so he can take legal action against the Kota Melaka MP.
Following Muhyiddin’s explanation, Lau, who is DAP MP for Lanang, then ordered Khoo to retract his statement, citing Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 36(6) which stipulated that no MP shall impute improper motives to any other member.
Khoo initially was reluctant to retract the statement and wanted to only reframe it, but Lau put her foot down.
She ordered Khoo to retract it first before reframing his statement.
“Kota Melaka, retract (your remarks) first, before reframing it,” she said.
Khoo relented and retracted his remarks.
He then reframed it to omit Muhyiddin’s name.
However, PN leaders were still unsatisfied with this and dared Khoo to repeat his remarks outside the Dewan Rakyat hall – where he does not have parliamentary immunity. – Malaysiakini