Jul 13, 2009 By WANI MUTHIAH and CHRISTINA TAN
SHAH ALAM: Selangor Opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo was thrown out of the state legislative assembly Monday for accusing Speaker Teng Chang Khim of being biased.
Teng had ordered Dr Mohd Khir to retract the allegation and apologise, but the former mentri besar adamantly refused to do so.
Teng then ordered him to leave. The Sg Panjang assemblyman left the chambers accompanied by other Barisan Nasional legislators.
The drama began at about 11:30am when Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim informed the house that Dr Mohd Khir’s lawyers had handed him a legal notice at the state assembly premises.
The lawyers had tried to hand over the legal notice to Ng last Friday at the assembly premises as well, but the DAP assemblyman had refused to accept the document.
The legal notice was to inform Ng that Dr Mohd Khir had instituted a defamation suit against him over his allegation that the former mentri besar had spent RM24 mil to purchase a luxury bungalow here.
Ng asked Teng if this was permissible under the Standing Order and if doing so was tantamount to disrespecting the House.
Teng referred to the Standing Order and said it stated that no legal notices or court orders could be handed over at the premises of the legislative assembly.
“This contravenes the immunity enjoyed by elected representatives when in the House and it is also a show of disrespect towards the legislative assembly,” said Teng.
He warned Dr Mohd Khir not to repeat the action and asked him to remind his lawyers not to do so either.
“As lawyers they should have known this as it is a Constitutional convention ... this is something that even first year law students know.
“It’s a practice that has been in place for over a hundred years.
“It also happened in Parliament once and the Speaker there had ruled that it cannot be done in the premises as it contravened parliamentary immunity,” said Teng.
Dr Mohd Khir then told Teng the Standing Order only stated that it cannot be done in the assembly chambers and not anywhere else within the premises.
“It meant only in the House (chamber) not when out of the House. That’s why everyone can talk outside, including reporters.
“That is also why reporters are not allowed inside the House (chamber),” he said, adding that the notice was handed over to Ng at the parking lot.
Teng then asked Dr Mohd Khir to specify which Standing Order stated so and when the Opposition legislator failed to do so, the Speaker raised his voice.
Dr Mohd Khir then told Teng that Kinrara assemblyman Teresa Kok had placed a legal notice on his table during the assembly seating earlier this year.
Teng then retorted that Dr Mohd Khir should have reported to him when the alleged incident had taken place.
Teng repeatedly asked Dr Mohd Khir to specify the Standing Order which allowed legal notices to be handed out in the legislative assembly premises.
The explosive exchange that followed not only silenced the House but also shocked a group of college students who were watching the proceedings in the lobby.
Dr Mohd Khir: “I plead with the Speaker not to be biased.”
Teng: “Retract that statement.”
Dr Mohd Khir: “I will not retract.”
Teng: “Retract or leave. No legislative assembly has accused the Speaker as being biased. I am giving you a chance to apologise.”
Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San then stood up to speak but was ordered to sit down by Teng, who said that he was capable of dealing with the situation.
Dr Mohd Khir, who left the assembly, told reporters waiting for him at the lobby that he was disappointed with Teng for telling him to leave.
He reiterated that Kok had placed a legal notice on his table in the House and he had accepted it “without much ado.”
He alleged that there were many personal attacks leveled against him in the House, and added that the proceedings in the House “reeked of personal agendas.”
“They don’t even know how to govern the state,” he said.
Later in a press conference, Dr Mohd Khir said that he would be instituting legal action against Teng.
During lunch break, Ng claimed that a legal firm representative had handed him the notice at the legislative assembly dining hall and not the parking lot as claimed by Dr Mohd Khir.