9 June 2010: Yes, Parliament is moving
“The proposal was recently tabled before the Cabinet for consideration and it has agreed to move [Parliament] to Putrajaya.”
“The construction of a new Parliament building at a cost of RM800 million is to meet the future requirements of Parliament, taking into consideration aspects of comfort, needs, facilities and the increased number of seats.”
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, in a written parliamentary response to DAP Member of Parliament (MP) Sim Tong Him. (Source: Parliament to Putrajaya: Nazri gives conflicting answers, Free Malaysia Today, 9 June 2010)
9 June 2010: But it’s not decided yet
“It’s not decided yet…We will bring it to the cabinet to be discussed.”
“We will look into every aspect… The Parliament is actually a heritage building. So, we cannot just demolish it.”
Nazri, speaking to reporters after his written response was presented in Parliament, in an apparent contradiction of himself. (Source: New Parliament in Putrajaya?, Malaysiakini, 9 June 2010)
16 June 2010: Parliament may be moving to PICC
“We need to upgrade [the Parliament building] otherwise it will rot or crumble. This will take two to three years. While the upgrading is being done, the sitting needs to be held somewhere. To prepare a temporary place, PWD (Public Works Department) estimated that we need to spend RM50 million but we (cabinet members) feel that RM50 million to spend on something temporary is a waste of money.
“So what choice do we have left? The PWD’s estimate of RM800 million for a new building is out of the question. That is why some cabinet members suggested we take over PICC (Putrajaya International Convention Centre). It’s better to spend on something permanent.”
Nazri, a week later, saying that Parliament might move to PICC while renovation works were carried out on the Parliament building. He called the PICC a “white elephant” that had cost RM600 million to construct but was heavily under-utilised, bringing in only RM2 milllion in revenue in 2009. (Source: Govt may move Parliament to PICC, theSun, 16 June 2010)
28 June 2010: Parliament is not moving
“Neither the government nor the cabinet ever said that we will move Parliament to Putrajaya. We never did.”
Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor in denying any government plans to move Parliament to Putrajaya. He said the PWD had only told the cabinet that Parliament needed to be refurbished and any relocation would only be temporary. He did admit, however, that one of the suggestions was to build a new building and that PWD had been asked to come up with a building plan.
Nazri’s first announcement of the intended move to Putrajaya had provoked an outcry from MPs and the public over the expense involved and the lack of consultation. (Source: Shaziman: Parliament won’t be relocated, Malaysiakini, 28 June 2010)
30 June: Move not decided yet
“For certain reasons the answer was not referred to me. I take full responsibility. I don’t blame my officer for this, but this is an internal issue.”
“It all depends on the interpretations of the parliament officers, and the officer in question interpreted that the decision was made, despite it being only discussed in cabinet.”
Nazri, in a written parliamentary response backtracking on his first parliamentary reply, which stated that the cabinet had already decided to relocate Parliament to Putrajaya. He said the issue of whether to build a new building was still being discussed and his earlier statement was released by an officer without first checking with him. (Source: Nazri apologises for new Parliament blunder, Malaysiakini, 30 June 2010)
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What a joke! Is it any wonder then that FDI is not coming in? Would any sane investor put his money into something he cannot trust? Daily, the conflicting reports, comments, policies etc., creates an atmosphere of uncertainty.
We need to do away with this type of un-professionalism. Whatever happened to keeping your word? And a [person]’s word is worth [their] honour? Not anymore it seems, at least in this country.
Hwa Shi-Hsia says
First of all, why is it the Cabinet, and not PARLIAMENT, which decides whether or not to move Parliament?
Secondly, why do our politicians always have this moronic procedure of waffling on announcements that, taken at face value, should be unambiguous? Blaming the “interpretations of the parliament officers” is a pathetic excuse for his avoidance of responsibility.
Personally, I think our Parliament building is rather ugly. It just looks like a block of civil servant offices and doesn’t have the charisma of Westminster Palace or the US Capitol. But as we are a developing country suffering from budget deficits and government overspending in general, I think if the problems with the current building can be fixed up reasonably well, function is more important than form for now.
It is quite absurd our PM to still retain him as a cabinet minister after so many controversies by him. Parliament moving is only one of latest controversies created by him in the august House. Are we short of MPs of calibre to replace him or is he too strong to be dismissed? If this is happening in developed countries, he will have gone into history.