Don’t defy the rule of ‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty’

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 – Secretary-General Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the proposal to ban or bar any MPs charged in court be suspended from attending conferences and the Parliament, is against the basic principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and defies the rule of ‘beyond reasonable doubts’ .
Such an act, he said is unjust for the MPs as it adds salt to their wound.
“That is a new proposal that has not been tabled and has not been discussed with Members of Parliament. The judicial system in Malaysia is of course based on the innocence of a person until it is decided that he is really guilty in a fair trial. Any sentence can be appealed at the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.
“Until the Federal Court makes a decision, a person still has a chance to be found not guilty.
“Regardless of whether a person is a Government Member of Parliament or the Opposition or an ordinary citizen, this country is subject to the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, so MPs should be allowed to continue their duties in the constituency and at the Dewan Rakyat until the highest court, the Federal Court, decides,” he explained.
The Pontian MP also said, too often a case has to drag for a long time to reach a decision.
“Therefore, it is appropriate that the Member of Parliament who continues to be given the allowance is allowed to attend, participate, vote in the siding of the Dewan Rakyat and serve in his constituency during the trial period because he is still not guilty as long as the whole process has not been completed,” he added.
He was commenting on the statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar who said the Cabinet agreed with the proposal to implement Parliamentary reforms, including amending the Parliamentary Council (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952 (Act 347) either prohibits or allows the accused Member of Parliament in court, to be suspended from any official function.