Corrected at 11.35pm, 15 June 2009
KUALA LUMPUR, 15 June 2009: Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, along with several other Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Members of Parliament (MPs), were ejected from the Dewan Rakyat this morning after they shouted “Bubarkan DUN!” and “Hidup Rakyat!”.
They were also slapped with a two-day suspension by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.
Nizar, the new MP for Bukit Gantang, was sworn into Parliament at 10am. Following his swearing in, the embattled Perak menteri besar led his Pakatan Rakyat colleagues in shouts for the Perak state assembly to be dissolved.
“I hardly sat in my seat for a few seconds before I was instructed to leave the house,” said Nizar in a press conference after the incident.
According to Nizar, after his swearing in, he sought permission from the speaker “to inform MPs about dissolution of the Perak state assembly.”
A number of PR MPs, and some visitors in the public gallery, had worn headbands that said “Bubar DUN!!”
The MPs refused to remove the headbands when Pandikar asked them to. The speaker then ordered the MPs — namely Nizar, Ngeh Koo Ham (Beruas-DAP), Nga Kor Ming (Taiping-DAP), M Kulasegaran (Ipoh Barat-DAP), Datuk Mahfuz Omar (Pokok Sena-PAS), Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (Kuala Selangor-PAS), N Gobalakrishnan (Padang Serai-PKR) and Teo Nie Ching (Serdang-DAP) — to leave the house.
(Corrected) Nurul Izzah Anwar (Lembah Pantai-PKR) and Lim Lip Eng (Segambut-DAP) walked out in support.
Khalid Samad (Shah Alam-PAS) telling off parliamentary officers: “[Those wearing headbands] have a right to be here.”
Pandikar later said the ejected MPs were suspended for two days according to Standing Order 44(2).
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was in the house during the incident, which lasted for about 25 minutes.
Asked about the motivation behind his action, Nizar said the state assemblies and parliament “must be in harmony”.
“The Perak crisis has persisted for four months, while we can still convene Parliament. Is this a good attitude?” Nizar asked.
Nizar stressed that it was hypocritical that parliament was in session, while the Perak state assembly was still in trouble.
He added that after signing the declaration making him an MP, he was committed to defending the federal constitution.
“The only place we can voice the voice of the people is through parliament,” Ngeh said.
“We hope Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will get the message. Unless there is restoration of democratic rights to the people, there will be no proper government in Perak,” Ngeh added.
During the press conference, parliamentary officers asked non-MPs who were also present to remove their “Bubar DUN!!” headbands or they would be thrown out of parliament.
Khalid Samad (Shah Alam-PAS) told off the officer, saying: “Jangan tarik-tarik! This is not your house. [Those wearing headbands] have a right to be here.”
In a later press conference, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim expressed regret at the speaker’s decision to suspend the MPs.
Anwar “Nizar should have been given the opportunity and the space [to raise the issue],” Anwar said.
He stressed that it was the right of any MP to wear accessories of their choice, including headbands or armbands making political statements.
“You will find that everywhere else in the world they allow this,” Anwar explained.
Anwar revealed that the PR would write to the speaker to ask him to review his decision to suspend the MPs.
“The principle here is that there are too many restrictions that are too harsh. These are restricting the MPs from doing their task,” Anwar said.
Today’s Dewan Rakyat sitting is the first in a meeting that will last until 30 June. It is also the first time Najib is attending Parliament as leader of the government, and former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as a backbencher.
If they cannot solve the stalemate in Perak by going back to the people or by legal means, then the only other alternative is for them to bring it up at the Parliament.
Here too, if they are suppressed, then where is justice? What is Najib talking about his 1Malaysia? We, the rakyat are disillusioned!
Hazlan Zakaria says
I am probably being a devil’s advocate, but it is strange to see the duality of things. In the Perak DUN, what remains of it, the PKR speaker once had the license to exercise any amount of “discretionary powers” he could divine out of the Perak constitution, while PR would question every bit of “discretionary” powers that the Dewan Rakyat [Speaker] is licensed to exercise.
Of course there is that oddity how in certain areas of the Perak government, orders for state organs somehow emanate from a federal source. The state secretariat and the state police contingent for starters. Maybe this is the shape of Malaysian political games.
“We don’t do as we say” for PR and “we own every square inch of this land and everything in it, your support via democratic vote is allegedly assumed or seems to be not required” for BN.
tebing tinggi says
Malaysia’s opposition are only good at shouting and causing chaos in Parliament. Never take up the challenge of debating on issues for the nation’s benefit.
The opposition and the rulling party are equally responsible for good goverment.
Clamp down on issues that are raised. What are MPs for? This is a Nazi camp. We are getting nowhere.
tebing tinggi says
Malaysians vote in opposition who get suspended in Parliament. What is the quality of our choice?
Malaysians have a tendency of being proud of this type of opposition instead of the quality that can deliver as responsible opposition for the nation’s good.
It’s not just an insult to Parliament but to the nation as well and an insult to the people’s choice.
Hafidz Baharom says
There is nothing wrong with those in the public gallery wearing headbands and accessories. However, Nizar jumped the gun in his shouting of slogans when the Speaker had yet to grant him the approval to do so.
As such, the Opposition MPs were speaking out of turn and creating a mess of the situation.
So congratulations to the people of Perak who chose MPs that missed their first days in Parliament after a break. But don’t worry, there are 15 days in this meeting. So I guess Perak will only have a voice in Parliament for 12 days.
Congratulations and mazel tov.
So we have to understand that what happened in Perak is just fine, and business should go as usual? At least, Hazlan Zakaria raises a valid point.
Perak people have already seen their DUN vote being turned to shreds. What more their Dewan Rakyat vote?
2nd class says
These Pakatan MPs are like clowns. Can’t they behave properly in Parliament? I think they intentionally did that so that they can create havoc and be the headline of newspapers the next day. This is the hallmark tactic of our drama king [and queen].
Hilmi Ismail says
I am afraid if this beloved country is ruled by the Opposition, it will definitely go to the dogs.
We do need Opposition MPs who don’t simply get themselves suspended. Since PR is not good enough, let’s try BN for the next opposition – surely they will do a better job!
Andrew I says
The opposition never takes up the challenge of debating on issues for the nation’s benefit?
Please refer to “Motion to discuss PKFZ rejected”.
According to Kit Siang, the bird has flown.
PR don’t need commotion like that, why don’t they entice enough BN MPs to form a federal government. Do to BN what they do to PR in Perak…An eye for an eye…..if PR is good enough…
I’m suprised, THG seems to forget that there are currently four states where BN are the opposition. But we don’t hear anything from these “opposition”, maybe these opposition just not THG’s cup of tea. They prefer to be so-called “lap dog” for the PR, doesn’t matter PR are ruling or PR are the opposition.
Hafidz Baharom says
@Eric: Yes, so instead of having a voice on a national level, they’ve lost that, too for two days. How very interesting.
@Chinhuat: Well, if you wish to put them in the Opposition by all means, continue. Though honestly, if that were to happen I think we’d see a national leap frog competition from PAS.