Uproar over SAR issue in Royal Address

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 13 Mar 2003

AN uproar erupted in the House when Mahfuz Omar (PAS – Pokok Sena) questioned the Royal Address which had touched on the People's Religious School (SAR) issue during the motion of thanks. 

It started when Mahfuz interrupted Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's speech and accused the Government of deliberately inserting the SAR issue in the Royal Address. 

“The Government should not have inserted the statements on SAR in the Royal Address as it is a controversial issue involving the people and the Sultans.”  

At this point, Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal stood up saying that Mahfuz seemed to be belittling the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's capability in assessing the contents of the Royal Address. 

“That is bad intention. You are belittling the King's ability to judge the contents of the Royal Address.” 

More MPs joined in the shouting match. 

Deputy Speaker Datuk Lim Si Cheng tried to calm down the situation, saying that it was inappropriate to question the Royal Address but it led to further shouting from both sides. 

When things cooled down, Hadi said that instead of stopping funds to the religious schools, Umno should work together with PAS to promote the progress of religious education among Muslim youths. 

He also asked the Government to provide a breakdown of the costs in hosting last month's 13th Non-Aligned Movement summit. 

He also asked if the company that loaned the official Mercedes Benz cars for the summit belonged to a relative of a Cabinet minister.  

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