“If they think they can muzzle me, they are wrong. Barisan Nasional will continue to speak up,” said the Selangor opposition leader at a press conference here.
The former mentri besar was suspended for his absence from the Selangor Select Committee on Competence, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) inquiry into the alleged misconduct and inappropriate dealings of state charity Balkis.
In his defence, Khir said Selcat has no right to investigate Balkis as the organisation was under the jurisdiction of the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
“Can Selcat investigate DAP’s accounts? Or Umno’s. That is why I said the charges were politically motivated,” said Khir.
He said the state government should emulate the Penang government in promoting competency, accountability and transparency in governance.
“In Penang, (Lim) Guan Eng uses it to monitor his own administration, the present government, but in Selangor they look at the past,” he added.
Khir said that the members of the state government were being inconsistent in their fight for freedom of speech.
“In Parliament they talk about freedom but in the state they want to shut us up,” he added.
“We will explain to the people of Selangor that the government is afraid of criticism, and as the opposition leader I will continue to expose the government’s weaknesses so they can correct themselves,” said Khir.
He said that his suspension together with that of four other assemblymen — Marsum Paing (Dengkil), Mohamad Idris Abu Bakar (Hulu Bernam), Warno Dogol (Sabak), and Isa Abdul Kasim (Batang Kali) — was cruel and unjust.
The other four assemblymen were suspended for six months for criticising Selcat through the media.
“Maybe because I did not attend the hearing, so I was suspended for one year, I can accept that but the four other assemblymen were only making remarks trying to correct Selcat, asking for a closed-door hearing,” said Khir.
He added that the decision was an act of revenge by Speaker Teng Chang Kim who in the last assembly term was suspended for 18 months after he threw a copy of the Standing Orders into the dustbin and refused to apologise.
Khir said he would discuss with his lawyers on the next course of action.
“We have appointed a group of lawyers to recommend to us what action should be taken against the committee, which we believe has been unfair in performing its duties,” he said when asked whether he would take legal action against the committee.