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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pakatan walks out, will not vote on Assembly Bill

Pakatan Rakyat MPs walked out of the Dewan Rakyat during the debate on the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 and will not participate in voting on the Bill.

The MPs said that they were disgusted that the speaker had only allowed three Pakatan Rakyat MPs - one from each party - to debate what they consider to be a very important piece of legislation.

The three who were allowed to speak were Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim (Permatang Pauh-PKR), Lim Guan Eng (Bagan-DAP) and Abdul Hadi Awang (Marang-PAS).

Upon Abdul Hadi’s concluding his debate, Pakatan MPs walked out just as Ibrahim Ali (Pasir Mas-Independent) was beginning his speech.

Ibrahim was followed by P Kamalanathan (BN-Hulu Selangor), after which Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz addressed the House.

NONESpeaking to reporters later, Shah Alam MP Abdul Khalid Samad decried the unfair treatment and said Pakatan MPs were unlikely to stay back and vote.

Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching also said the speaker’s decision to allow only three Pakatan representatives to speak was unfair.

“For example, during the debate on the Supply Bill 2012 at the Education Ministry committee stage, 42 MPs spoke. About half of them were from Pakatan,” she told Malaysiakini.

Abdul Khalid said that there was “no point” for their presence in the House as they have presented their views, but it does not appear that their call would be heeded to withdraw the Bill.

“The government has done whatever they think they should do, in terms of amendments, but everything is still the same," he said.

“Their attitude is very slipshod... (We are walking out and boycotting voting) as it is all just window dressing."

Asked if Pakatan will participate in the debate in the committee stage reading of the Bill, Teo said that they are still deciding on this.

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