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Monday, November 20, 2023

PN MPs hit back, defend absence during morning session in Dewan


Shahidan Kassim said opposition MPs had not attended the morning session in the Dewan Rakyat as they were showing their support for the shariah courts at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.

KUALA LUMPUR: Perikatan Nasional MPs have defended their absence from the morning Dewan Rakyat session, saying that they were showing support for the shariah courts at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.

Shahidan Kassim (PN-Arau) expressed displeasure over a government MP who commented on their absence by saying: “This is the opposition’s behaviour (Inilah fi’il pembangkang).”

“Almost every afternoon we (the opposition) have to wait for the quorum to be met before the session can start, but we don’t even say that ‘itu fi’il kerajaan’,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat before starting his 2024 supply bill debate at the committee level for the health ministry.

Shahidan warned that if the MP concerned did not retract the offending statement, he would refer the individual to the privileges committee by invoking Standing Order 36(12).

Standing Order 36(12) states that “any member who represents statements to mislead the Dewan Rakyat is deemed to be in contempt of the House and may be referred to the committee of privileges for the offence”.

However, Shahidan did not reveal who was the MP who made the alleged comment.

In another debate session, Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (PN-Bukit Gantang) clarified that the absence of opposition MPs this morning was not an act of truancy.

“We (the opposition) have always attended Dewan Rakyat sessions. This morning, we went to the Palace of Justice to show solidarity for the shariah law. It is said we had skipped the session, but we did not,” he said.

Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (Pasir Mas-PN) then interjected to question whether absent ministers should also be considered as skipping the parliamentary session.

To which, Hussin replied: “The ministers may be busy distributing allocations.”

This morning, government backbenchers slammed the opposition after none of its MPs were believed to be present in the chamber.

Some took the matter to social media while others raised the absence of the opposition MPs during the oral question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat.

More than 1,000 people had gathered outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya to “support and defend” the shariah courts, with many opposition figures present.

Among the MPs at the protest were opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan, PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad, and Bersatu vice-president MP Radzi Jidin. - FMT

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