Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun today said that any debate on the seizure of Petronas assets by the self-claimed heirs of the Sulu sultanate could reveal Malaysia's strategy for addressing the conflict to outsiders.
He was responding to accusations of attempting to "run away" after rejecting a motion for debate on the issue by MPs.
He also said that he could be brought to debate any issue or problem as long as MPs were not emotional and political.
On Monday, Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah was suspended for two days after being told to leave the House by deputy speaker Rashid Hasnon.
Rashid made the order after Isnaraissah asked Azhar to explain his decision to reject her motion on the seizure of assets belonging to two Petronas subsidiaries in Azerbaijan.
Sepang MP Mohamad Hanipa Maidin meanwhile said Azhar's move to reject Isnaraissah's motion on grounds of sub judice was inappropriate.
But Azhar said if the issue was discussed in Parliament, it would give opportunity for criticism of the government's efforts.
"Wouldn't that damage the government's interest in the litigation proceedings?" he said.
"Do we want to reveal our strategy to the world? The first rule of litigation is the element of surprise, the same as in war."
Azhar also said his decision was part of efforts to protect Malaysia's sovereignty.
"We are trying to defend our country, and we want to reveal our strategy to others? Do we want to do that?"