KUALA LUMPUR: Three Opposition lawmakers were told to apologise to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia for insulting him.
The three - V. Sivakumar (DAP-Batu Gajah), Ngeh Khoo Ham (DAP-Beruas) and Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping) - were issued letters demanding an apology for disparaging the Speaker and the House recently.
"As such, I am giving an opportunity to you to make an open apology in the House for the accusations made against the Speaker," said Pandikar.
He added that a failure to apologise would lead to "stern action" being taken against the three who challenged Pandikar to resign last Wednesday (March 7).
Last Wednesday, the three accused Pandikar of colluding with the ruling party to cover up corruption scandals when he did not allow their applications for emergency motions to debate the seizure of the super-yacht in Indonesia and questions related to 1MDB.
The following day, Pandikar gave the three lawmakers a dressing-down for constantly challenging his discretionary powers to reject their motions.
At a press conference last Thursday (March 8), Barisan Nasional Back Benchers' Club chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad called for the three lawmakers to be cited for contempt of the House.
This was followed by a statement last Friday (March 9) from Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who said that the trio "smeared the hallowed name of the House".
The executive, or a minister from the ruling government, must move a motion to cite the three lawmakers to Parliament's Rights and Privileges Committee for contempt.
In 2001, former DAP Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan was suspended for six months for insulting and refusing to apologise to the then-Speaker Tun Mohamed Zahir Ismail.
Fong had accused the Speaker of abusing his power when rejecting a motion on the Certificate of Legal Practice (CLP) exam.