Members of Parliament must take responsibility for any statements they make and must not misuse their immunity while they are in the Dewan Rakyat or Dewan Negara.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman said MPs were accorded the immunity subject to Article 63 of the Federal Constitution under the Privileges of Parliament.
“The provision clearly outlines issues that can and cannot be questioned in the Dewan Negara or Dewan Rakyat.
“Hence, MPs are not allowed to talk or act as they like to the extent of tarnishing the image and prestige of the august house,” Bernama reported as she saying in Parliament today.
She cited four matters under Article 63(4), where immunity from court action for blatant speech does not apply, namely, Article 153 on Malay rights, Article 152 on Bahasa Melayu as the national language and Article 181 on Malay rulers, and issues within the definition of sedition under the Sedition Act 1948.
Azalina said every MP ought to use the institution to debate on matters which would benefit the people icluding issues in their constituencies.
What was more disappointing, said Azalina, was that there were MPs who purposely belittled and did not respect the position of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, an act which could be regarded as contempt.
The Pengerang MP also reminded fellow parliamentarians who had previously served in the Cabinet, of the ‘Aku Janji’ integrity pledge that they had signed under the Official Secrets Act 1972.
Meanwhile, Azalina said the opposition had no cause to counter react when police act to investigate any MP under the Official Secrets Act 1972 or other Acts.
“The action is carried out based on police reports. Whether the party that has been summoned had committed an offence or not depends on the outcome of the investigation.
“It is premature for any party to make any assumption on the matter,” she added.