MPs up in arms over claim that attack was by PKR members

KUALA LUMPUR: Proceedings in Dewan Rakyat came to a standstill for 15 minutes Tuesday after a reply from a deputy minister got PKR MPs up in arms.

In his answer to Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN - Bintulu), Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said the police had received reports of violence against two photographers supposedly by PKR members in the Permatang Pauh by-election.

"The police are currently investigating the complaints but it would seem that the claim (that they are PKR members) is correct," he said as Azmin Ali (PKR - Gombak) stood up instantly to protest.

"I ask the deputy minister to retract his statement. Police investigation cannot be biased," he said as other PKR members including Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR - Ampang) joined in the chorus.

Chor then stood up and asked Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee should he further explain himself, to which the latter replied by turning to Azmin and saying:

"This is the deputy minister's reply."

However, this did not stop Azmin from shouting at Chor to "retract the allegations" while R. Sivarasa (PKR - Subang) and others tried to intervene.

Matters only calmed down after Zuraidah stood up to field the next question.

Earlier, Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal told Chow Kon Yeow (DAP - Tanjung) that the Penang state government would not be receiving a special financial allocation from the federal administration for conservation work.

"However, the ministry will continue to provide technical expertise and aid to Penang," he said.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim also told Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN - Kinabatangan) that he would personally write a letter to the United Nations' secretary-general to remind the world body that no country should intervene in other members' domestic affairs, particularly over Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy allegations.

"I will inform the Dewan of the response to the letter," he said.

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