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Tuesday November 27, 2007

Near brawl at Assembly

KOTA BARU: The sixth day of the state assembly sitting here almost ended in a brawl when Datuk Nozula Mat Diah (BN–Paloh) challenged Mohd Zaki Ibrahim (PAS–Kelaboran) to a fist fight. 

As he charged towards the surprised Zaki, who is state PAS Youth head, he was restrained by the burly Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman (PAS–Chetok) and several other Barisan backbenchers.  

The situation came to a head during sharp exchanges with Datuk Mohd Zain Ismail (BN-Bukit Tuku) and state Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Annuar Musa (BN–Kok Lanas) on one side and State Industry and Trade committee chairman Zulkifli Mamat (PAS–Pulai Chongdong) on the other over a project in Rantau Panjang. 

Fired up: Abdul Halim holding back Nozula from approaching Mohd Zaki (in green) at the Kelantan State Assembly yesterday.
Nozula was provoked by the exchanges and stood up abruptly and began scolding State Speaker Datuk Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah when Zaki apparently made an unpleasant remark while seated. 

Nozula then rushed towards Zaki who was seated six seats away and confusion reigned for 10 minutes before order was restored. 

Four-term assemblyman Nozula then walked back to his seat before leaving the hall. 

According to Wan Abdul Rahim, this was the first time that a brawl had almost happened in the sitting’s history.  

Annuar was seen asking Nozula to calm down before proceedings resumed. 

However, before the backbenchers could calm down completely, there were boos and slamming of tables when State Local Government committee chairman Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS–Bunut Payong) tabled a motion asking Nozula and Mohd Adnan Kechik (BN–Bukit Bunga) to make an unreserved apology to Wan Abdul Rahim for allegedly uttering disparaging remarks during Thursday afternoon's sitting or be suspended for six months. 

Quoting remarks made by them in newspapers, Takiyuddin said that under the Parliament Standing Orders of 125 (1), both assemblymen had insulted the honorable standing of the House and the Speaker. 

Zainuddin Awang Hamat (PAS– Limbongan) seconded the motion. 

Nozula was suspended for a day on Thursday for refusing to back down from arguing with Wan Abdul Rahim over the latter’s refusal to allow him to participate in the debate on the royal address. 

The assembly later voted in favour of the motion and both men were suspended for six months from yesterday.  

Wan Abdul Rahim later said the suspension would be lifted if the two were willing to make a public apology through the same newspapers and retract their statements . 

In a press conference, Nozula said he felt he was right to challenge Zaki because the latter had allegedly uttered the word “Jakun.”  


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