War is raging in the Middle East but war of words in Parliament earns no brownie points for anyone

IN Malaysia, there is no doubt that the war between Israel and Hamas seems to cause a division among the people.

Lawmakers from both extremes alike are trying to use the conflict to earn their brownie points. Yesterday, 15 Perikatan Nasional (PN) MPs staged a walk out after two of their colleagues, Pengkalan Chepa MP Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary and Parit Buntar MP Mohd Misbahul Munir Masduki were ejected from the Dewan Rakyat.

Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim justified that the exit was “in solidarity” with his fellow lawmakers. Although he claimed that these PN lawmakers are “the loyal supporters of PMX” (referring to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the country’s 10th Prime Minister), the government lawmakers are divided over support for Palestine.

The truth is that there is no reason for anyone to waste the Parliament’s time debating over the on-going conflict in the Middle East.

War will erupt any time unless there is a peace treaty signed by the warring factions. This is for the superpowers to negotiate with both sides and Malaysia’s voice is too insignificant for anyone to bother.

15 Perikatan Nasional (PN) MPs staged a walk out after two of their colleagues, Pengkalan Chepa MP Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary and Parit Buntar MP Mohd Misbahul Munir Masduki were ejected from the Dewan Rakyat.

However, Malaysians have had enough of hearing all sorts of comments made in the Parliament about the Israel-Hamas conflict. Why does it keep cropping up?

Perikatan Nasional (PN) Kapar MP Dr Halimah Ali (PN) had suggested that food and medical supply be air flown into the Middle East and this attracted criticisms from a TikToker.

One can only frown or perhaps be amused, now that PMX is being accused of being “pro-Israel” because he is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Week 2023 in the US.

How does anyone’s support of the Palestinians in the Israeli-Hamas conflict facilitate the recovery of Malaysia’s fragile economy, contain the falling ringgit or the fact that we are increasingly lagging behind the other economies in ASEAN?

Government lawmakers are no different

Last week, Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek took time to emotionally lash out at every person who opposed against the Solidarity Week with the Palestinians.

But the Nibong Tebal MP and PKR Wanita chief failed to understand that most parents were concerned after several videos went viral on the Friday (Oct 27) before the Solidarity week kicked off on Oct 29.

Although she has promised a thorough investigation to be carried out, most people are sceptical that any stern actions will be taken. In fact, possession of fake guns are against the law itself.

Fadhlina should realise that parents are stakeholders in the school education system. Parents send their children to school to be educated, not indoctrinated. The theme should have focused on “Peace, No War” instead of a partisan support towards any warring faction.

PMX has also made this blunder which now requires a lot of damage control on the international front. Although we agree with him that there should not be any unilateral decisions by the superpowers, they are not going to be bothered.

We depend on them – both China and the US. Israel as a nation has also made significant contributions towards our modern lifestyle in that without their IT technologies, we would still be backward.

At the same time, Malaysiakini has just reported today that floodwaters have hit Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Melut on Sunday (Nov 5) which left 25 families stranded yet no assistance was forthcoming. Selangor is under Pakatan Harapan (PH), but which MP has raised the matter with the state EXCO? Was this issue even brought up in parliament?

At least the Sabahan MPs have brought up the issue of how a local West Malaysian security personnel had bullied a Sabahan delivery man.

Social commentator Imraz Ikhbal has commented that a student from the B40 community has failed to obtain a Public Service Department’s (PSD) scholarship although she had scored 10 distinctions. But what has the government done about this?

Why are lawmakers not highlighting the plight of our locals but instead turning the Parliament into a battlefield over a war that is happening a few thousand kilometres away? Did we elect our local MPs and pay them a salary to talk “rubbish” in parliament?

It is time for the Dewan Rakyat speaker and his deputy to knock some sense into these lawmakers from both sides. The august house is supposed to be a place where there is law and order or decorum.

If lawmakers themselves cannot even set a good example, how will the rakyat respect them? – Nov 7, 2023

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