THREE lawmakers have been told to leave the Dewan Rakyat today (April 3) after Pendang MP had called a minister a liar.
The three are Pendang MP Datuk Awang Solahuddin Hashim, Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Jelutong MP RSN Rayer.
Awang’s marching orders came following his refusal to withdraw his remark accusing Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad of lying about Kedah being one of the states with a dwindling Malay reserve land size.
“Minister, if you do not have the information, do not speak. Don’t lie in this house,” he said.
Interjecting, Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng then demanded that Awang retract his statements (saying the minister lied) which Awang had refused to do, saying he was in the right as the information that Nik Nazmi had given was erroneous.
The PN lawmaker continued to resist withdrawing his remarks despite Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Alice Lau ordering him to do so.
A defiant Awang insisted he was right in his terminology as anyone who provides false information was lying.
Lau then argued that if the information given was inaccurate, Awang should have said it was not true rather than calling it a lie.
“If (the information is) not correct, then just say it is not correct. There is no need to say it is a lie. Are you going to retract that statement? If not, please leave the Dewan,” Lau said.
She referred to Standing Order 36(6) which states that no member shall “impute improper motives to any other member”, noting that saying that Nik Nazmi had lied was imputing him with improper motives as Awang had no way of proving that the minister’s remarks about Kedah’s Malay reserve land was made with malicious intent.
Firing back, Awang said Nik Nazmi’s statement was meant to paint the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition in a bad light by lying about Kedah’s Malay reserve land.
As Awang had steadfastly refused to withdraw his statement, Lau eventually ejected him from the Dewan Rakyat for an hour.
Following Awang’s ejection, Shahidan then interrupted Lim’s debate time and said Standing Order 36(6) should not apply to Awang as the latter was only providing facts about Kedah’s Malay reserve land.
Exasperated, Lau stressed that she did not want to discuss the matter further and wanted only to continue the debate as they are running short on time.
“Or would you like to leave the Dewan as well,” she asked Shahidan.
Shahidan then allegedly said the word “penyamun” (thief) while his microphone was switched off, prompting Rayer to jump to his feet to demand that he retract the word.
“Biadap (rude)! I ask Arau to retract the word ‘thief’ which was targeted at Lim,” Rayer shouted.
Shahidan defended himself, saying he did not say the word into the microphone and as such, it was not recorded in the Hansard. He also said he did not target the word at Lim.
“I heard that too. Even if you did not turn on the microphone and it is not in the Hansard, you cannot call someone a thief in the house,” Lau said, before asking him to withdraw his statement.
After a protracted shouting match between Rayer and Shahidan, the deputy speaker urged Shahidan to leave the house if he refused to retract the word.
“Why isn’t he (Rayer) being asked to leave as well? He called me all sorts of things like (being) rude,” Shahidan then asked
“Both of you leave then for a while. Jelutong and Arau, please. Don’t waste any more time,” Lau said.
Their ejections came just over an hour after the opposition had staged a walkout this morning to protest the speaker’s decision to reject the coalition’s proposal to allow another round of targeted Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals. – April 3, 2023
Main pic credit: Bernama