Dewan Rakyat speaker rules no-go for statements without solid evidence

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said Dewan Rakyat will not allow for discussion any statement put forward based on news and social media reports without solid evidence. — Picture by Azneal Ishak
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said Dewan Rakyat will not allow for discussion any statement put forward based on news and social media reports without solid evidence. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — The Dewan Rakyat will not allow for discussion any statement put forward based on news and social media reports without solid evidence, Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said today.

He gave the reminder after Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob raised the matter of the alleged involvement of Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in the proposed Penang undersea tunnel project when speaking during the debate on the royal address.

When questioned about the allegation, Ismail Sabri said his statement was based on an article posted by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

Mohamad Ariff said: “I have made a ruling, and the ruling must be adhered to. Move on to other issues. Statements based on news and social media reports without solid evidence cannot be raised in this august House.

“My ruling stands, even if such matters are raised by other members of the House. Matters cannot be raised unless there is evidence.”

Ismail, who is the MP for Bera, said he was seeking an explanation on the matter but RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) interjected and alleged that the statement reflected improper motive.

“I refer to Standing Order 36(6). No member shall impute improper motives to any other member. That’s an improper motive.

“The Honourable Member for Bera is taking advantage of the debate to impute an improper motive to the Minister of Finance, and this is wrong,” he said.

Ismail Sabri did not retract the statement. He was allowed to continue with the debate, but on another subject.

The Dewan Rakyat sits again tomorrow. — Bernama