Ejection, suspension, shouting match on Sulu Sultanate’s claim

Kota Belud MP was ejected and given a 2-day suspension from the august hall after insisting for a debate on the issue


THE first day of Dewan Rakyat saw Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis getting ejected after insisting to debate the legal seizure of Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) assets abroad.

Isnaraissah was one of the two MPs who submitted the motion to discuss the matter. Another one was Pulai MP Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub

However, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun rejected it, saying that it could be sub judice.

“So, the minister had already explained lengthily so everyone knows what is going on with regards to the disposal of these assets. Then on the matter of it being sub judicial, the law clearly states that it is because there are one or two ongoing proceedings still,” he said.

He also denied that there was a conflict of interest as his brother, Tan Sri Idrus Harun, was the attorney general.

“The meeting rules are very clear and I have to follow them. I never interfered in what my brother did and I never talked about work with him. If something happened in the hall, I would always abstain from making decisions,” Azhar Azizan explained.

Isnaraissah, who is Parti Warisan Sabah MP, maintained that the motion should be debated as it was a matter of the country’s sovereignty.

“Why was the stay of execution only submitted on July 12, when the final arbitration was awarded on Feb 28?” she asked.

She was referring to the arbitration ruling in favour of the Sulu Sultanate’s heirs dated Feb 28. 

This resulted in two of Petronas assets worth US$2 billion (RM8.9 billion) reportedly being seized.

Salahuddin, meanwhile, said his party did not want to dispute any decision of the Speaker, but the people needed to get an explanation from the minister responsible for this issue.

“I also accepted that my motion was rejected on the grounds of sub judice, but today, it was reported locally and internationally that the Speaker of the Senate has made a comment not to pay, so is this sub judice or not.

“But I hope there is an argument and consistency so that this issue needs to be discussed. We bring this issue not to dispute, but to get an explanation why this is happening. The people need to get an opinion from the minister who answers in the Parliament because this involves national dignity and defence,” he said.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon proceeded to eject Isnaraissah and was given a two-day suspension from the august hall, which prompted a shouting match between the MPs.

At a press conference, Isnaraissah said she would be submitting her motion for the fourth time.

“I submitted the same motion twice in March to debate about the final arbitration award in the Spanish court, but it was rejected. I want the government to be firm on this and fight this claim,” she said.