UNACCEPTABLE: Opposition unhappy with speaker's rejection of their motion to refer Penang chief minister to Rights and Privileges Committee
ALL opposition assemblymen yesterday staged another walkout after their motion to refer Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to the Rights and Privileges Committee was rejected.
The motion, tabled by Datuk Jasmin Mohamed (Barisan Nasional-Sungai Dua) and supported by the other 10 Barisan Nasional (BN) representatives, was to refer Lim (DAP-Air Putih) to the committee over his remark that all Hindu shrines will be threatened if Umno returns to power.
It was, however, rejected by Speaker Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain.
Jasmin urged Abdul Halim to consider the motion fairly, adding that Lim had clearly said "akan roboh" (will demolish).
After checking the Hansard, Halim agreed and noted that Lim had said "I feel, all Hindu shrines will be threatened if Umno returns to power", but added the word was "terancam" (threatened) and not "roboh".
This did not go down well with the BN assemblymen, and opposition leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim (BN-Penaga) said the decision was unacceptable.
"The Hansard can be manipulated. I will lodge a police report and with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)," said Azhar, and he walked out of the hall, followed by the other BN assemblymen.
Earlier, Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) chairman Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya (BN-Teluk Bahang) told the House that the port officer involved in the demolition of a Hindu shrine was Pas member, Abdul Halim Kadir.
Hilmi said he had obtained Halim's name from the Pas website, with his personal details also listed. He was responding to an earlier request by a backbencher to show proof of the person involved.
At a press conference later, Halim said Azhar's remark that the Hansard could be manipulated was a contempt of the assembly.
Halim said the motion was rejected because the facts were incorrect, and it was not an urgent matter as it was not of public interest.
Halim also said Azhar could be suspended and that backbenchers could table a motion to refer Azhar to the Rights and Privileges Committee.
Azhar, meanwhile, said Lim's statement was an attempt to incite the people, which could cause racial strife, and called on Lim to retract the remark and apologise.
"Can we call this a leader? If Penangites continue to choose Lim to lead the state, Penang will fall apart," he said.
At another press conference, Lim said he could not understand why Umno said he had been seditious, and they could lodge a report if they wanted to, because he had no immunity in the hall, citing Article 72 (4) of the Federal Constitution.