THERE was a brief stand-off between a backbencher and the state opposition leader in the state assembly yesterday.
Tan Cher Puk (BN-Johor Jaya) was speaking during the debate on the motion of thanks for Sultan of Johor's speech, when he referred to a recent meeting by the Johor State Assembly's Rights and Freedoms Committee.
He criticised Ng Lam Hua (DAP-Mengkibol) for not turning up for the meeting in Kuala Terengganu.
He said Ng was practising double standards as he attended a similar meeting in Sabah four years ago.
"The latest meeting provided an opportunity for brainstorming. But the committee later was told that Mengkibol assemblyman was not only absent, which was an act of irresponsibility, but he also criticised the committee for holding a meeting outside the state. I remember the three-day meeting beginning Aug 13, 2009, where there was a similar meeting in Sabah.
"At that time, the Mengkibol representative was happily smiling away and I have the pictures to prove it. How come he could attend the previous meeting? Was it because Sabah is a bit further then Terengganu?"
Tan praised Dr Mohamad Taslim (Pas-Maharani) for being the sole opposition assemblyman who attended the meeting in Terengganu.
Before Tan could finish his speech, state opposition leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau (DAP-Skudai) stood up in an attempt to defend Ng, but was told to sit by Johor deputy state assembly speaker Datuk Othman Jais.
Othman said Tan did not mention names in his speech, only the constituency area. But Dr Boo persisted. This infuriated Tan, who raised his voice and said: "If a state opposition leader does not know the meaning of discipline, then he better resign."
Dr Boo remained standing which prompted another backbencher, Ayub Rahmat (BN-Kemelah), to say: "When the speaker asks one to sit, one has to sit down."