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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Perak Pakatan cooperates with MACC ‘under protest’

IPOH, March 19,2009 — malaysianinsider

Five Pakatan Rakyat (PR) members of the Perak state assembly’s Rights and Privileges Committee had their statements recorded by anti-corruption officers today but insisted they had done so under protest.

They had earlier refused to give their statements to the police on their decision on Feb 18 to suspend Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and his six executive council members from the assembly.

Four committee members — DAP’s Ong Boon Piow (Tebing Tinggi), Loke Chee Yan (Kepayang) and Sum Cheok Leng (Bercham) and PKR’s Chan Ming Kai — turned up at the Perak Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters here at about 11.30am in compliance with the commission’s summons.

The fifth member, Husin Din (Selinsing) of Pas, had apparently given his statement to the commission several days ago.

Canning assemblyman Wong Kah Woh accompanied the group for he had also been summoned in his capacity as the complainant whose report had instigated the committee’s suspension decision.

“Out of respect, we are attending but under protest. It is apparent that the MACC does not understand the powers and privileges of the Perak Legislative Assembly whereby anything said or done in the assembly is not subject to any criminal proceedings,” the group told reporters, in a statement read out by Loke.

They also demanded the MACC explain why it had shown such disrespect to the immunity of the committee members.

“As we have complied with their order to attend, we now want the MACC to give as an explanation.

“Why are they not respecting our immunity under paragraph three of the Perak Legislative Assembly (Privileges) Enactment 1959 which states that no member shall be liable to criminal proceedings in respect of anything done or said in the Perak Assembly or any committee,” they said.

Before entering the MACC office, Ong said that the committee would assert their immunity by not answering questions pertaining to their decision to suspend Dr Zambry and the six executive councillors.

“They can ask us general things like our names and our ages and so on. But we do not have to answer them if they question us on the decision made by the committee,” he said.

When the group emerged later, they declined to reveal the details of the interrogation session but merely noted that they had been summoned in their capacity as committee members.

Meanwhile, Perak police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah has said that the committee had been given more time to record their statements.

He said that their case had been referred to the deputy public prosecutor’s office for further advice but no court order for their appearance had been applied for yet.

The committee had, under advice from their lawyer Leong Cheok Keng, ignored the police notices they had received asking them to appear at the Perak police contingent’s Criminal Investigation Department at 9am on March 7.

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