A Member of Parliament is an elected representative of the people of a constutiency. As the voice of the people, his presence is needed in the august house to debate, voice out and cast his vote representing his people of his constituency, who are part of the citizenry, on policy matters and other important matters of the State. Thus his role does not just represent himself, but that of the people who have elected him, to enact laws or make amendments to such laws through what we called a “democratic process”.
MPs are of course human, and may sometimes make mistakes, just like any other person. But since he has a special role to play, and to ensure that he can speak with fear or favour, whatever he has uttered in that august house has certain immunity and cannot be challenged in court. This is to ensure that views and opinions of all kinds can be expressed freely in the house, so that ultimately a right policy or decision can be adopted for the benefits of the citizens of the country.
So unless there is a gross and serious breach of conducts (like committed a crime in which case his status should be removed and a by election called to elected another person to represent that constituency) , MPs should not be suspended. If he or she is suspended, it would mean that the constituency that elected him or her would not be represented, and this would be very unfair to the voters in that constituency.
If he has really done something wrong, therre are other ways to deal with that. To suspend or expel an MP from the house should be the last resort . And before that be adopted, warning should be given , and perhaps lighter sentences like a symbolic pay cut may be adopted . On more serious offence, perhaps his right to speak on that particular day can be suspended, but never should his voting rights be suspended. His voting right should not be suspended since voting is the ultimate method of deciding a policy and ince he is elected by his constituents, any suspension of this right violates the spirits of democracy, and is a gross injustice to the voters in that constituency. It deprives a certain section of the citizens from participating in enacting or amending laws which may affect the constituents themselves.
So even if a member is ordered to sit down and refrain from speaking or debating because of certain misconduct in the eyes of the speaker, at no time should his right to vote on policy matter be suspended, for doing so would be suspending the rights of the voters in the constituency that have elected him.
The same should also be applied to state assembly.
So the alleged report, if true, that some of the MPs might be suspended so that the ruling party can achieve its 2/3 majority again is a gross miscarriage of justice and undemocratic way of denying the voters in that few constituencies from expressing their democratic rights through their representatives.
Similary, in any state assemebly , whether under BN or Pakatan, the right of a member to vote should never be suspended even though he or she can be punished through other ways as mentioned above.
If suspension of elected representatives are used to weaken the number of opposition rank and to achieve a 2/3 majority so that Constitutional amendments can be passed or constituency boundaries redrawn, be aware that there will be serious repercussions, not unlike that of the Perak State government that was toppled some time back , not through voting by the people, but through the crossing over of certain assemblymen from one side of the divide to the other. People who are rightly the ultimate boss will not like this sort of things happening, and they would perceive this as a way of suspending their democratic right as citizens of the country.
For the sake of democracy and the image of the country, I hope that this principle of people being the ultimate boss should not be compromised through questionable tactics.
Otherwise, whatever goodwill the government has just gained would be undone and people would regard this as the ultimate show of arrogance..