Wednesday, April 07, 2010

APCO row brings House down and MP Mahfuz Omar referred to Rights & Privileges Committee

Parliament was forced to temporarily adjourn proceedings this evening when Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers began chanting “Umno APCO”, after the Speaker disciplined one of their colleagues for linking a bill being debated to the public relations firm.

Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar (picture), who is from PAS, had attempted to rile up Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs during bloc voting for the Supplementary Supply Bill, by starting the “Umno APCO” chant.

“For loyalty of King and country, we must reject the Bill by APCO. APCO! APCO! APCO!” Mahfuz said.

His PR colleagues then followed suit with chants of “Umno APCO.”

APCO Worldwide, the public relations consultancy engaged by the Najib administration, has been the target of attacks on the government by the opposition who claimed that the company had also advised the Israeli government.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been referred to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee and faces suspension for bringing up the allegation that APCO had Israeli links.

Earlier today, DAP’s Karpal Singh was also ejected from Parliament in a separate row over APCO.

Anwar will now be joined by Mahfuz who will also be referred to the same panel for possible disciplinary action.

Amid the racket of noise created by opposition MPs the vote on the Bill was completed.

But after the counting was over, Umno’s Kuala Krau MP Datuk Ismail Said stood up and interjected.

“Pokok Sena has wrongly accused Umno of being APCO. I want Pokok Sena to retract his statement based on standing order 36 (12),” he said.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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