|Nizar and others kicked out of Parliament|
|Jun 15, 09 10:32am Malaysiakini.com|
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Seven Pakatan Rakyat parliamentarians, including newly sworn-in Bukit Gantang MP Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, were ordered out of the Dewan Rakyat this morning over their call for the Perak state assembly to be dissolved.
Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia ordered them to leave the chambers and subsequently suspended them for two days.
Apart from Nizar, the others were Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping), Ngeh Khoo Ham (DAP-Beruas), N Gobalakrishnan (PKR-Padang Serai), Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena), Zulkifly Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor) and Hatta Ramli (PAS-Kuala Krai).
“I didn’t set a definite suspension time but according to the Standing Order, they cannot be suspended for more than 10 days. So (I am suspending them) for two days” said the speaker, explaining that his decision was also based on their violation of the dress code.
He said this does not allow for headbands to be worn, pointing out that Parliament “is not a market”.
Pandikar also reminded MPs not to disrupt the proceedings and to be dignified, noting that “24 minutes were wasted (this morning) for nothing”.
Nga and Ngeh were wearing headbands with the words Bubar DUN (Dissolve the State Assembly) in the House.
This was a reference to the political chaos in Perak, following the collapse of the state government in circumstances that are still being widely disputed. Nizar was the menteri besar at the time.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was present when the ruckus occurred.
Nizar was only sworn in this morning as the member of parliament for Bukit Gantang.
No welcoming speech for Nizar
Trouble started as soon as Nizar was sworn in as a member of parliament when he started saying loudly ‘Hidup rakyat’ (long live the people) and ‘Bubar DUN’ with Pakatan parliamentarians following suit.
Some Pakatan MPs had by now worn the ‘Bubar DUN’ headbands, including Nizar.
Speaker Pandikar Amin tried to get the MPs, especially those from Perak, to be quiet and urged them to remove the headbands.
“Please remove the cloths. That is not part of our uniform,” he pleaded but this only led to more MPs joining in the protest, which resulted in the speaker in first sending off the MPs and then following it up by suspending them.
This was perhaps the first time a newly sworn in MP has been suspended on the same day. Nizar was also denied the opportunity of getting the traditional welcome speech given by the speaker.
“Traditionally after an MP is sworn in, the speaker’s job is to welcome the new member, and in the welcoming speech, the speaker will speak of his hope that the new member will be able to contribute to the House,” Pandikar told the House.
“But this morning I find it difficult to say that, look at the behaviour of the member who was a menteri besar. I don’t care how you behave outside the House, but inside the Parliament please watch your behaviour. And because of this I will not deliver my welcoming address,” he added.
Talking to reporters later, Nizar said he had actually sought permission from the speaker to speak up to inform the House on the situation in Perak.
“In my oath I said that I will defend the constitution therefore I asked for permission from the speaker to inform the members on the constitution which has been sidelined in Perak,” he said.
‘Give Nizar a chance’
Lim, who is providing live twitter updates on the parliamentary proceedings, said Najib then proceeded to answer the first question on 1Malaysia.
Outside the House, security officials told all non-MPs to remove the Bubar DUN headband.
Talking to reporters later, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said it was unfair for Nizar to be suspended without being given a chance to have his say on the Perak issue.
“As a new MP , who was just sworn in, he has to be given a chance… we all know the context in which he was ousted as the Perak menteri besar and the way the legislative assembly proceedings had taken place,” said Anwar.
Looking at these aspects, Anwar said, Nizar should be given a chance to express his grievances.
“If we can’t air our views and protest in Parliament, where else will we able to express our grievances?” asked Anwar.
In a related development, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail condemned Pandikar’s decision to eject and suspend Nizar and sox others.
“The ejection of the MPs, simply for wearing black songkoks with slogans calling for the dissolution of the Perak state assembly, is another example of the determination of the ruling BN coalition to quash any dissenting views in the country.
“It also calls into question, once again, Pandikar’s impartiality as speaker of Parliament,” she said in a statement.
Security in Parliament House has been tight with a heavy police presence. The two-week sitting started today.
Anwar Pertahan Tindakan Nizar
Ketua Pembangkang, Anwar Ibrahim, mempertahan tindakan Ahli Parlimen Bukit Gantang, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin dan Ahli Parlimen Pakatan Rakyat memakai lilitan hitam “Bubarkan DUN Perak” semasa permulaan sidang Dewan Rakyat hari ini.
Beliau berkata, Parlimen luar negara membenarkan wakil rakyatnya memakai sebarang tanda bagi meluahkan sesuatu perkara ketika memasuki mesyuarat atau persidangan.
“Saya juga akan mengutus surat kepada Yang Dipertua Dewan Rakyat, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia hari ini berhubung tindakan beliau mengarah tujuh wakil rakyat pembangkang meninggalkan Dewan Rakyat kerana enggan mematuhi arahan menanggalkan lilitan itu,” katanya pada sidang media di lobi Parlimen.