MPs have legal immunity for things said in Parliament, says Speaker

KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Constitution states that MPs have legal immunity over matters raised in the Dewan Rakyat, says Datuk Johari Abdul.

The Dewan Rakyat Speaker gave this assurance to Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, who was recently threatened with legal action over what he said during a recent debate in the Dewan Rakyat.

"No action can be taken against an MP in any court of law for what is said when taking part in any Parliament proceeding subject to Article 63 of the Federal Constitution," Johari said in a letter which was posted by Dr Wee on his Facebook account on Monday (March 13).

Article 63(2) states that no person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in any proceedings of either House of Parliament or any committee thereof.

Dr Wee, who is Ayer Hitam MP, wrote a letter to Johari on March 6, seeking advice over two legal letters issued against him by a company involved in importing eggs into the country.

On Feb 28, the MCA president informed the Dewan Rakyat that he had received a legal letter from lawyers representing the company.

He raised the issue on Feb 22 in Dewan Rakyat when debating the motion of thanks on the Royal Address.

During his debate, He warned that the government would face a barrage of criticism if the chicken egg shortage was not resolved as Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri approaches.

Dr Wee also brought out three different eggs – one from India, a locally-produced egg and an Omega 3-enriched egg to show their size difference and cost.

The eggs imported from India are white-shelled and weigh between 50g and 55g, which can be classified as Grade D eggs in Malaysia.

On March 2, Dr Wee uploaded a photograph of a second letter issued by the lawyers representing the company and vowed that he would not bow to pressure.

Meanwhile, Dr Wee thanked Johari for his response and protecting the rights of MPs to speak in Dewan Rakyat.

"I will continue to be the voice of the people, not just for my constituents in Ayer Hitam, but also the people of Johor and Malaysia," he said in his post.

On March 8, Agriculture and Food Security Minister said that he would "reveal everything" as the government was not hiding any details of the sole Malaysian company allowed to import eggs from India during his ministerial reply in Parliament.

@drweekasiong “Apa-apa ucapan yang dibuat oleh Ahli Parlimen dalam mesyuarat Mailis Parlimen adalah terlindung di bawah Perlembagan Persekutuan dan tiada prosiding di mana-mana mahkamah boleh diambil terhadap Ahli Parlimen berhubung apa-apa jua yang dikatakan olehnya semasa mengambil bahagian dalam apa-apa prosiding Majlis Parlimen tertakluk Perkara 63 Perlembagaan Persekutuan tersebut.” Demikian penjelasan Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat kepada saya dalam surat bertarikh 10 Mac 2023 yang baru saya terima hari ini. Terima kasih Speaker yang menjawab surat saya dan mempertahankan hak Ahli Parlimen bersuara di Dewan Rakyat. Saya akan terus mengangkat suara rakyat majmuk bukan saja warga Ayer Hitam, tetapi juga Johor dan Malaysia secara keseluruhannya. ————— This is the reply by the Speaker in a letter dated 10 March 2023, which I just received today. Thank you to the Speaker for his reply and in protecting the rights of MPs to speak at Dewan Rakyat. I will continue to be the voices of the people, not just for my constituents in Ayer Hitam but also the people of Johor and Malaysia. #WeeCare #P148AyerHitam #DewanRakyat ♬ original sound - DrWeeKaSiong
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