Barisan MPs rush into Dewan

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 29 May 2008

BARISAN Nasional MPs, including the Prime Minister and his deputy, rushed into the Dewan to vote on an item under the Supplementary Supply (2007) Bill 2008 when the Chair called for block voting to replace the usual method – by voice.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah had wound up the debate on allocations for statutory funds under the Bill when Deputy Speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar called for a voice vote to approve the allocation.

When Wan Junaidi held that the allocation was approved, several Opposition MPs stood to complain that the voices of those who rejected the item were louder than those who agreed.

“It doesn’t matter if there are louder voices or not. We cannot accept this result,” Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR – Ampang) said.

Tian Chua (PKR – Batu) agreed, saying that there was hardly any difference in the voices.

Wan Junaidi replied that a voice vote was acceptable in Parliament and that there was no need for further debate on the matter.

However, the Opposition MPs, who were still unhappy, urged Wan Junaidi to make a ruling.

The Deputy Speaker then said that at least 15 MPs must be in the Dewan to support the move for a division of votes, to which more than 20 Opposition MPs stood up.

The bell then rang and MPs rushed into the Chambers. The counting of votes was then called.

Minister in charge of parliamentary affairs Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz was seen outside calling the Barisan MPs, who were in the lobby, to enter the House.

After Wan Junaidi closed the counting process, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein walked in with his briefcase amid shouts from the Opposition MPs, booing him with remarks of “sudah tutup” (voting closed) while the votes were being tallied.

Wan Junaidi then announced that the number of those who agreed to pass part of the Bill was 92 votes while 60 disagreed. There was one abstention.

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