KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming has suspended Tan Sri Noh Omar from Parliament for three days, ruling that the senior Umno lawmaker had insulted him when he was chairing the Parliament sitting the day before.
Noh (BN-Tanjung Karang), who was not present in the House, was barred from attending Parliament proceedings from Tuesday (March 19) to Thursday (March 21).
The ruling was made following an incident during debates in the House on Monday (March 18), when Noh accused Nga of being unfit to chair Parliament proceedings.
In the incident, Noh had interrupted Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas) – who was debating the royal address – to question Nga over his "Taliban" remarks in reference to the Umno-PAS cooperation.
This led to a heated five-minute exchange between Nga and Noh, which resulted in Noh's outburst about Nga's incompetence to be Deputy Speaker.
In making the ruling, Nga said: "As Speaker, it is not only my duty to conduct proceedings in a fair and just manner but also to preserve and protect the image and integrity of the institution of Parliament.
"Tanjung Karang's unbecoming behaviour, including deliberate interruption of proceedings and disregard of the powers of the Speaker and accusations that the Speaker is not fit to hold the post, is deemed as an open insult to the institution of the chair," Nga said.
However, Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said (BN-Kuala Krau) suggested for Nga to make the ruling when Noh was present in the House.
Ismail, who was formerly deputy speaker, said Noh was not given a chance to explain himself or retract his statement and apologise.
"It has been our tradition to allow MPs a chance to explain themselves or be given the opportunity to retract and apologise.
"If they fail to retract and apologise, only then should a ruling be made against them," he said.
Nga, however, remained adamant, saying that it was not his fault that Noh was not present.
Ismail then "apologised", and said that he could no longer sit in proceedings when Nga was presiding, and subsequently left.
Other opposition lawmakers also staged a walkout in protest of Nga's ruling.
Opposition chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob alleged that the ruling represented an abuse of power and an attempt to stop Noh Omar from seeking an explanation from Nga over his remark on the Umno-PAS cooperation.
"Nga issued the statement outside the Dewan as a DAP leader, but he used his power as a Deputy Speaker to take action againt Tanjung Karang.
"He does not enjoy full immunity when he speaks outside as a DAP leader," said Ismail.
Ismail added that opposition lawmakers would boycott Parliament when Nga chairs a sitting.
Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (PAS-Kubang Kerian) said it was unfair to issue a ruling against a lawmaker without giving any chance to explain, apologise or retract any of their statements.
"I believe he was just asking the Deputy Speaker to explain his statement.
"If the Deputy Speaker believes that he was misquoted by the media, then he should have taken action against the media," said Tuan Ibrahim.
He added that it was a conflict of interest as Nga issued the ruling on an issue involving himself.