Commotion as Speaker orders 'headstrong' MPs out

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 16 Jun 2009

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat kicked off its meeting yesterday with a 25-minute commotion minutes after Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin took his oath as the new Bukit Gantang MP.

The former Perak Mentri Besar was ordered out for violating the House’s dress code – he put on a black headband bearing the words “Bubar DUN (dissolve the (Perak) state assembly)”.

He had donned the headgear right after taking the oath, shouting “Hidup rakyat, bubar dewan! (Long live the people, dissolve the state assembly)”. Several Pakatan Rakyat MPs followed his example and put on similar headbands and armbands.

Some at the public gallery, believed to be Nizar’s supporters, also put on the headband as they shouted “Bubar, bubar” as backbenchers retaliated with “Keluar! Keluar! (Get out! Get out!).”

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia ordered Nizar out, banning him for two days from the meeting, citing him as the person who had started wearing the headgear. It didn’t matter that he had obliged the Chair’s request to take it off.

Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP-Beruas) and Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping) were also ordered out of the Dewan when they refused to obey the same request. The others who got the marching orders were Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena), N. Gobalakrishnan (PKR-Padang Serai), Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor) and Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli (PAS- Kuala Krai).

Opposition MPs Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Lembah Pantai), Khalid Abdul Samad (PAS-Shah Alam) and Teo Nie Ching (DAP-Serdang) left the Dewan on their own accord.

The Speaker reminded the rest: “This is not a market place. Please sit down, don’t join them. This is how children argue in the streets. We have many issues to discuss for the rakyat’s interest.”

A visibly miffed Pandikar Amin said he would not give any welcome remarks after the swearing-in this time around, saying: “Look at what has happened. Is this the conduct of a mentri besar?”, which was greeted by thumps of support from Barisan MPs.

The commotion delayed the reply of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who attended the meeting for the first time as Prime Minister. He was there to answer a question on 1Malaysia.

At one point, Ngeh returned to the Chambers when Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein spoke about the chaotic Perak state assembly meeting on May 7.

But Pandikar Amin spotted the DAP MP and ordered him out again, saying: “If I have not told you how long the suspension is, I am telling you now that it is for two days under Standing Order 42.”

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR-Permatang Pauh) said Pakatan Rakyat would be writing to Pandikar Amin to reconsider his decision to evict Nizar and the others.

“If they can’t show their protest in Parliament, where else can they do it? They will be restricted to gaining public support by going to the streets.”

PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, meanwhile, tried to distance the party from the whole fiasco, saying Nizar had acted in unison with his opposition colleagues from Perak without informing party leaders.

He told Agenda Daily that Nizar had acted that way to attract the world’s attention to the political situation in the state.

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