YouTube: Parlimen Malaysia - Sothinathan Speaks For Medical StudentsIn an unprecedented move, the cabinet yesterday suspended Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk S. Sothinathan for three months with immediate effect for going against government policy. Explaining the reason for the decision, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said: "As a member of the government, he should not have taken the stand to criticise the government (in Parliament)." He said that this was certainly a breach of party (BN) discipline. He said Sothinathan, who will still be a member of parliament, will stay away from the front bench for three months. This is the first time the government is suspending a deputy minister from its ranks, Abdullah said after speaking at an investors conference. Sothinathan, 45, who is Teluk Kemang MP and MIC secretary-general, had during a debate on the Crimea State Medical University (CSMU) issue in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday, questioned the government's decision to de-recognise CSMU degrees. The debate was on a DAP motion to discuss the Malaysian Medical Council's decision to not recognise CSMU degrees, affecting Malaysian students. Sothinathan had said many of the students at the university are Indians and because of this, being a BN component party, the MIC is duty-bound to protect their interest. "We are the party in government representing the Indian community ... it is our duty to right a wrong when it happens, " he had said when responding to Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad X;b>...X;/b>
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