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Thursday, April 23, 2009

> Gobind to challenge suspension in court

Suspended Puchong member of parliament Gobind Singh will be filing a suit tomorrow against Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia over his 12-month suspension.

The suit will be filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, said Gobind's father Karpal Singh.

The legal action follows a decision last week by the Federal Court in allowing a challenge by BN's Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir and his exco members against their suspension from the Perak assembly by assembly speaker.

"The Perak case has opened up a precedent for the matter (suspension) to be taken to the Federal Court," said Karpal, also the Bukit Gelugor member of parliament.

Gobind's action, when filed tomorrow, will be the first of its kind taken against a decision made by a Dewan Rakyat speaker.

Last month, Gobind was suspended without any allowances and benefits following his outburst in the House against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The debutant parliamentarian had allegedly linked Najib with the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, and called him a "murderer" in the process.

The decision by the Federal Court last week was unprecedented as it allowed the judiciary to get involved in a decision-making process of the legislature.

Perak speaker V Sivakumar had suspended Zambry for 18 months and his six exco members for 12 months for causing contempt to the House by assuming the post of menteri besar and exco members.

Will the court rule the same?

In backing Gobind's move to file the judicial review, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang said the one-year suspension was a "blatant case of abuse" of Barisan Nasional majority in Parliament.

He added that Gobind was subjected to double jeopardy with a very harsh second punishment although he had earlier been punished by the deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee with a one-day suspension.

He also said that DAP had originally not planned to subject Pandikar's decision to a court review as "we hold to the doctrine of separation of powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary".

He said the party believed in upholding the federal constitution which clearly stated that the validity of any proceedings in Parliament or any committee shall not be questioned in any court.

However he said all that changed with the Federal Court decision last week on the Perak matter.

"The Federal Court has created a precedent which would justify the legal challenge of the unjust and oppressive one-year suspension of Gobind as MP without parliamentary pay and privileges.

"Or is the Federal Court going to be guilty of selective and discriminatory justice?" he asked in a statement - Malaysiakini.