KUALA LUMPUR: The interim gag order on issues linked to the US Department of Justice's (DoJ) civil action on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) by former Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has been lifted.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof made this ruling after scrutinising several international Parliamentary practices.
However, Mohamad Ariff did not lift the interim gag order by the High Court against discussing the merits of the criminal 1MDB case against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, which was filed by the Pekan MP's defence lawyers.
"The interim gag order by YB Pekan's lawyer, where the (merits) of the cases cannot be brought up in the Dewan Rakyat as it is a criminal case. As such it should be respected," said Mohamad Ariff on Thursday (August 2).
This means that lawmakers are still unable to bring up issues related to the criminal charges surrounding 1MDB.
Mohamad Ariff said that the ruling was made to respect the High Court's decision, in a bid to uphold the separation of powers.
However, he also noted that the principle of subjudice should not curtail the freedom and rights of lawmakers to raise matters that are not related to the criminal charges surrounding the case.
Mohamad Ariff made the ruling as Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said (BN-Kuala Krau) had sought the Speaker's advice on the previous decision made by Pandikar Amin over the matter.
Pandikar Amin in 2016 ruled that the Parliament should not discuss the ongoing lawsuit by the DoJ. He said that ministers need not answer questions related to the civil suits in the Dewan Rakyat, citing subjudice.