Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 18.6.2014.
DAP expressed shock at the arrest of DAP’s Seri Delima assemblyperson RSN Rayer at the Penang North-East Police District Headquarters in Jalan Pattani where he is expected to be charged under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act tomorrow morning over his “Umno celaka” remark. I was informed by Rayer who is presently posting police bail, whilst I am here in Kuala Lumpur attending the Conference of Rulers at the Royal Palace.
Rayer reiterated that he had never repeated outside the House what he had said inside the State Assembly meeting. As such this sedition charge against Rayer is not only politically motivated but also double-standards and selective prosecution by the Attorney-General. To be charged for sedition for a statement made against another political party and not against any racial groups inside the House is also disrespect bordering on contempt to the supremacy of parliamentary democracy as well as to the sanctity of the Penang State Assembly as the highest institution in Penang.
No elected representative has ever been arrested and charged for sedition for insulting another political party inside Parliament or the State Assembly. Elected representatives enjoy full legal immunity from prosecution except when they question any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected bythe provisions of Part III of the Federal Constitution or Article 152, 153 or 181 of the Federal Constitution.
UMNO is not protected by any of these four provisions in the Federal Constitution. If insulting another political party is the new yardstick for prosecution, then can the Attorney-General guarantee those UMNO leaders who use such vulgar and false language against the DAP inside Parliament or state Assembly would be similarly arrested and charged under the Sedition Act.
For Rayer to be charged under the Sedition Act for statements made, which the Penang State Assembly Speaker had not directed him to withdraw is clearly an act of political vengeance and abuse of power by UMNO against the DAP. No action has been taken against UMNO hooligans who attacked DAP Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and DAP Kuantan office.
DAP will vigorously defend Rayer not just because he is our Assemblyman but to protect, preserve and defend the sanctity and supremacy of the State Assembly as the symbol of parliamentary democracy. By wrongfully charging an elected representative for what he said inside the House against another political party, the BN Federal government is going backwards in a quick descent from parliamentary democracy to parliamentary dictatorship to justify their partisan bayings for vengeance.
LIM GUAN ENG
—–Mandarin Version —