Statement of the Seed Community for a Professional Parliament 24 March 2022 PM, instruct a Minister to move up the Motion to refer Pekan MP to the Committee of Privileges

We, the undersigned civil society groups, call upon Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri to prioritise the motion moved by Damansara MP, Tony Pua Kiam Wee’s motion to refer MP for Pekan, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the Committee of Privileges (The ‘Razak Motion’) so that it can be debated and decided before this Parliamentary Meeting ends today.

According to the Order Papers for 24 March 2022 uploaded on the evening of 23 March 2022, the Razak Motion is placed as the last of 19 items in the Orders of the Day and Motions. This practically means the Razak Motion will simply not be put, debated and decided by the Dewan Rakyat in this Meeting.

If Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri has no intention to protect Dato Seri Najib Razak from being questioned by the Committee of Privileges chaired by the Speaker, he must instruct one of his ministers to move a motion under Standing Order 14(2) to place the Razak Motion at the top of the Order Papers.

The Government is duty bound to allow all 220 elected MPs to decide if Dato Seri Najib Razak should be investigated by the Committee of Privileges to determine if he had misled the House that the Government has not paid any money on 1MDB, a claim that contradicted statements by the current and immediate former Finance Ministers. That decision should rest with the House, not the Government that dictated the House’s Orders.

By burying the motion at the bottom of the order, the Government is not only denying the 220 MPs and their constituents the chance to hold the former Prime Minister accountable. It is also sending the message that the Government is partial to and endorsing Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s allegedly abhorrent act of misleading the Parliament.

This unprofessional gimmick of burying important motions at the bottom of the orders underlines the need to revise the Standing Orders “to ensure that the proceedings in the Senate and the House of Representatives move orderly and effectively”, an unfulfilled promise (item 3.4, Appendix) in the MOU which should have happened immediately upon the signing of MOU. (item 3.7, Appendix).

Therefore, we urge the Government Ministers to move a motion under Standing Order 14(2) so that the House can decide to proceed with the Razak Motion first out of the regular order.

The issue of whether an MP has made statements that mislead the House is of utmost importance and requires immediate action from the House.

This statement is initiated by the Seed Community for a Professional Parliament, a network of individuals active in civil society organisations, think tanks and academia working towards a professional Parliament that facilitates healthy policy competition between parties.

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Signed by:
1. Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH)
2. Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)
3. Persatuan Pengundi Muda (UNDI18)
4. Engage Network
5. Bait Al Amanah
6. WISDOM Foundation
7. Institute for Political Reform and Democracy (REFORM)