Thursday, April 01, 2010

Opposition stages late-night walkout

Some 30 opposition MPs staged a walkout tonight after Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar rejected a motion to amend the motion of thanks to the Royal Address.

Lim Kit Siang had tabled the amendment on March 18 to establish a select committee to monitor the Government Transformation Programme and the 1 Malaysia policy which would be headed by the opposition.

However Wan Junaidi today rejected the motion on the grounds that it had nothing to do with the Royal Address.

“This is ridiculous, ridiculous,” shouted Lim and Wan Junaidi retorted that the Ipoh Timur MP could say what he wanted before the opposition packed up and left the hall.

Tonight’s late ministerial winding-up debate on the Royal Address was attended by ministers, backbenchers and opposition MPs.

Even seldom-seen MPs, including former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar chose to attend.

The late-night appearance is believe to be due to the lesson learnt last December when Pakatan Rakyat (PR) nearly derailed the 2010 Budget due to the absence of Barisan National (BN) lawmakers.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s first Budget as prime minister was passed with a narrow 66-63 approval.

Ampang MP Zuraidah Kamaruddin was overhead saying with glee: “We got all of them (BN) to attend the sitting.”

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin was overheard saying in disgust that this was the first time in history that the opposition had walked out before a vote could be taken on the motion of thanks.

He added the act by the opposition was disrespectful.

Lim, who briefly spoke to the press, said tabling amendments was a parliamentary convention and the GTP and 1 Malaysia are important policies.

He said the motion should have been put to a vote.

“What’s the problem? They had the numbers to defeat the motion,” he concluded.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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