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NGO Leader Has No Right To Claim Debate With Speaker — Lawyer
December 1st, 2017 | 08:58 AM | 476 views
It is not the right or the proper place for the leader of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to claim a debate with the head of the august house of the Federal Parliament, said a senior lawyer.
Datuk Ainal Fattah said State Reform Party (Star) Sarawak president Lina Soo had misunderstood or misinterpreted the statement of Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin in requesting for a debate which according to protocol and parliamentary practice is an invitation only to parliamentarians or state assemblymen such as Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
“Lina should not take advantage to try and gate crash an invitation not meant for her.
“By doing so she is not only breaching the rules of protocol and parliamentary practice but it would be highly unusual everytime a member of parliament throws down the gauntlet on a particular issue members of the public will initiate or call for a debate.
“Then there would be no end to debates and a member of parliament’s time would be taken up by debates and endless invitations to debate. Serious matters such as the Malaysia Agreement should not be paraded in public like a talk show or reality TV show,” said Ainal who is also secretary of Sabah Umno Zone 6.
Ainal was responding to the statement by Lina that she had responded to Pandikar’s call for an open debate on the issue of Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Lina said she had written a letter dated Nov 29, 2017 that her party would take up the call for the open debate and hoped Pandikar would respond to it.
“We will use this debate as a good platform and a chance to educate the public on MA63. We believe it would be a worthy debate with the Speaker (Pandikar) as there are still not many people who know about the agreement signed between Malaya, Singapore Sarawak and Sabah,” she said in a press conference in Kuching on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ainah pointed out that many people misunderstood the context of Pandikar’s comments. He said awareness of the Malaysia Agreement is a fairly recent issue in the last five years or so.
“Many lawyers, judges and writers of law hardly read the Malaysia Agreement in detail or were familar with it and for decades since 1963. The Federal Constitution was the overriding operative document while the Malaysia Agreement was in the background until recently. There were only a few decided cases on the matter and the agreement was hardly mentioned in textbooks on constitutional law.
“Take for example the leading work on the Federal Constitution by Professor Sheridan and Groves where minimal treatment was given to the Malaysia Agreement and the bulk of the textbook was only on the Malaysia Agreement,” he said.
Ainah added Professor Sheridan gave testimony in the leading court case of Tun Mustapha vs Tan Sri Pairin in 1985. Until recently, law students and lawyers often quoted the famous dictum of Raja Azlan Shah previously the Lord President that ‘the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land’.
No mention was made of the Malaysia Agreement.
“There is probably no decided case as yet that in event of conflict between the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement, which would prevail over the other.
“Pandikar’s comments should therefore be understood in the light of these facts. There are too many people quoting the Malaysia Agreement in total with blatant disregard for the Federal Constitution and this practice is foolish.
The comments of Tan Sri, a qualified lawyer should not be blown up for cheap publicity by people like Lina Soo,” he said.
courtesy of THE BORNEO POST
by BORNEO POST
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