DEWAN Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia rebuked an Opposition MP for a remark that he considered cynical when he implicated Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the National Day celebrations.
“I need to be fair. So, this is a reminder. When you ask a question, do not trigger arguments. If you do not want your questions to be answered in a cynical manner, then do not ask cynical questions,” Pandikar Amin told Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), who implied that GST would make the National Day celebrations more expensive next year.
Lim had suggested that rather than have two celebrations, the Government should only focus on only one because GST was likely to push up costs.
Taking the question, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek asked: “Do you think we will be collecting GST at Dataran Merdeka? You don’t seem to understand GST.”
Taking a dig at Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Bandar Kuching), who had remarked in a Facebook posting that playing the Negaraku was a “disgrace and ridiculous”, the minister said: “Cinema operators are requested to play the national anthem for a few days before National Day and until Sept 16. However, DAP feels the playing of the national anthem is embarrassing,” said Ahmad Shabery.
The DAP vice-chariman and Sarawak DAP chairman has since retracted his post and apologised for the comment.
In another development, opposing groups taking different issues to Parliament clashed in a verbal war outside the House.
One group, made up mainly of disgruntled former DAP members, had gone there to encourage the Government to come down hard on Opposition members allegedly involved in corruption.
The other group was there to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, seeking the arrest of those allegedly involved in the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock, whose body was found at the Selangor office of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in July 2009.
During their verbal spat, the groups hurled insults at each other.
The tension was quickly defused by policemen stationed nearby.
Later, Teoh’s sister Lee Lan handed over the memorandum to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Bukit Katil MP Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin, who is also a PKR vice-president.