KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Several Opposition MPs claimed today that the government will give a closed-door briefing to parliamentarians tonight on the claims by the apparent heirs to the Sulu sultanate.
Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching and Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin from DAP told the media that an invitation labelled “Confidential” had instructed them to gather at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur for the briefing by three ministers.
“Yesterday, all Opposition and Independent MPs received a invitation from the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. I can’t copy and share it with the media.
“I don’t know how an invitation can be confidential. It invited me to a closed-door briefing tonight at the Seri Pacific Hotel, during which three ministers will explain the issue of the claim by the heirs to the Sulu sultanate,” Teo told a press conference at Parliament today.
She explained that her party was asked to attend and that a question-and-answer session would also be held.
“We have a question-and-answer session but this is a closed-door briefing,” she added.
The three ministers are Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Legal Affairs), Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tunku Jaafar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Affairs), Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, and Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah.
Meanwhile, Chan said he still wanted the matter to be brought to Parliament for debate.
“As a Sabahan, it is important for the matter to be heard by all,” he said.
Yesterday, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun said claims by the so-called heirs of the Sulu sultanate would not be debated in Parliament because Malaysia has ongoing proceedings involving the matter and its litigation strategies could be compromised.
“Wouldn’t that (the debates) undermine the government’s interest in litigation proceedings? Should we show our strategy to the entire world?
“The first rule of litigation is the element of surprise, and the same applies to the first rule in war.
“YB has been complaining that we did not defend (our sovereignty) and now you want to publicly reveal our strategy?
“It is my responsibility not to allow this matter (to be debated),” he said yesterday.