Penang Umno assemblypersons staged a walkout from the State Legislative Assembly today after Speaker Law Choo Kiang ejected Roslan Saidin (BN-Pinang Tunggal) from the House.
Law told Roslan to leave the House when he refused to sit down after a shouting match ensued between him and several Pakatan Harapan assemblypersons.
It took place during the tabling of the resolution to condemn the detention of Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Maria was detained on the eve of the electoral reform movement’s rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 19, and is currently under solitary confinement for 28 days.
The mayhem started when Roslan told Dr Afif Bahardin (PKR-Seberang Jaya), who was then debating in support of the motion, not to forget his roots, claiming that his father is a member of Umno.
Afif took offence at the remark, and demanded that Roslan (photo) retracts his statement, telling him “not to drag my father” into this matter.
Decibels went higher and members of the assembly started pointing fingers at one another after RSN Rayer (DAP-Seri Delima) and Soon Lip Chee (DAP-Jawi) stood up to support Afif and demanded that Roslan retracts his remark.
Roslan refused to back down and instead kept reminding Afif not to forget his roots.
At this point, Law asked the assemblypersons to stop their shouting match and sit down in their respective places. But the verbal war continued.
The representatives eventually heeded the speaker’s order to sit down, except for Roslan.
Law then instructed Roslan to leave the House, which he did, saying, “I can leave the Dewan anytime.”
The six other Umno representatives who were present in the House then followed him out.
At a press conference later, Roslan said he merely pointed out that Afif was a product of Umno.
'I asked him not to be ungrateful'
“I know his origins, as his father is an Umno member, who benefitted from UiTM. This is what angered me, so I asked him not to be ‘kacang yang lupakan kulit’ (ungrateful).
“As Malays and Muslims, we are taught not to act this way (forget our roots),” Roslan said, flanked by his comrades.
Penang opposition leader Jahara Hamid (BN-Teluk Ayer Tawar) said the BN representatives would not get involved in the debate session to condemn Sosma, which was why they walked out in solidarity with Roslan.
Shariful Azhar Othman (BN-Bertam) urged Law to be “fair” when meting out punishment to the Roslan.
“Even the DAP members did not follow his instruction to sit down, so why did he only ask Roslan to leave the Dewan?” Shariful asked.
“Since only an Umno representative was told the leave the Dewan, it is as though we had done wrong. Please be fair, speaker,” he added.
Afif admitted that it may be true that he and his parents benefitted from some of Umno’s policies, but they are not members of the dominant Malay party.
“Both my parents were civil servants, staff of UiTM, and I was a student of Mara. But we were not members of Umno,” Afif told reporters.
“Anyway, from very young, I was told to reject leaders who are corrupt and cruel.
“The BN government now is corrupt and useless, and I was taught to fight for justice, for a better country and not for a government that oppresses its political opponents,” Afif, who is PKR Youth national deputy chief, told reporters.- Mkini