Gobind Singh follows in footsteps of dad, slapped with two-day suspension

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 01 Jul 2008

A HEATED shouting match between Parliament security personnel and several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) took place after they were refused entry into Parliament.

Several NGO representatives confronted a security official who gave instructions for their vehicles to be stopped at the Parliament entrance.

The representatives vented their frustration at the guards, stating that their rights were being violated.

Federal Reserve Unit and police officers had by then created a barrier at the entrance in the 1pm incident.

The situation, however, was defused 15 minutes later when Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin spoke to a security official, who allowed the group access only into the banquet hall.

The NGOs had been invited by Pakatan Rakyat MPs to attend a briefing on updates concerning PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and to show their solidarity.

The briefing had initially been planned to take place in the Opposition Leader’s office.

At the banquet hall, Opposition Leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and several other Pakatan Rakyat MPs gathered while several NGO reps expressed their support for Anwar.

The short briefing ended after Dr Wan Azizah assured the attendees that her husband Anwar was safe and well.

Meanwhile, Gobind Singh Deo (DAP – Puchong) followed in the footsteps of his father when he was slapped with a two-day suspension from the Dewan Rakyat after he tried to speak on Anwar during the question and answer session while asking a question on abandoned housing projects.

He became the first MP to be given a suspension since the 12th Parliament began on April 28.

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had earlier told Gobind Singh, a first-time MP, not to divert his supplementary question from the issue of abandoned housing projects to irrelevant matters.

Gobind Singh was asking Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan on the ministry’s efforts to resolve the abandoned housing problem, when he said that the ongoing problem had eroded the people’s confidence in the Government.

“For example, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had to seek refuge in a foreign embassy for his safety...,” he added, which resulted in several minutes of shouting between the Barisan Nasional backbenchers and the Opposition MPs.

At the lobby, the first-term MP demanded to know what he had done wrong as he merely wanted to know the results of an earlier meeting between residents in Puchong and the Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister.

Asked on following in his father’s footsteps, Gobind Singh said that Karpal Singh was a “brave man”.

When asked, Lim Kit Siang (DAP – Ipoh Timor) said Gobind Singh should have been given the leeway to ask his supplementary question.

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