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DISRESPECTFUL: 6-month suspension for causing ruckus in Malacca assembly
MALACCA: THE three-day drama at the Malacca state assembly over a seemingly innocuous question culminated yesterday in the suspension of five DAP assemblymen, preceded by a rare spectacle — the five parading a political
banner in the house.
A question by Datuk Gan Tian Loo (BNDuyong) directed at Betty Chew Gek Cheng (DAP-Kota Laksamana) on Monday had so angered the five — Chew, Goh Leong San (Kesidang), Lim Jak Wong (Bachang), Khoo Poay Tiong (Ayer Keroh) and Tey Kok Kiew (Banda Hilir) that they had, on Tuesday, staged a walkout.
SpeakerDatukOthmanMuhamad imposed the six-month suspension on them for disrupting proceedings and causing a ruckus in the house. Othman said they had defied the house when they caused a commotion and brought in the banner that read “Shame on you, Gan Tian Loo” in red capital letters. The house got off to a fiery start yesterday when Chew, who is the wife of the Penang chief minister, demanded Gan,who is a state executive councillor, to retract
his question to her on the first day of the assembly meeting on Monday.
Chew described the question as “slanderous and personal” as it was a private matter between her and Lim Guan Eng. Gan had asked Chew if she had harassed or caused injury to Lim, whether she knew a former staff of the Penang chief minister’s office, Ng Phiak Kheng, and if she had harassed and slapped Ng. Chew charged that Gan had made a personal accusation a0gainst her and her husband. “I demand he retracts that accusation.” Othman explained that Gan was merely posing a question and Chew could have just replied with a yes, no, or deny it.
"I have viewed the recording (of the sitting). It was not an accusation. There is no question of slander."
To which Chew disparagingly said: "Shame on you."
Khoo and Lim then stood up and unfolded the banner.
At this point, several BN backbenchers stood up and objected, and both sides exchanged barbs until Othman intervened and ordered Khoo and Lim to leave the house.
After a 25-minute recess, Datuk Yaakub Md Amin (BN-Sungai Udang) tabled a motion for the five to be suspended and this was supported by Datuk Capt (R) Ab Karim Sulaiman (BN-Tanjung Bidara).
Othman suspended the five and adjourned the house sine die.
Speaking to reporters later, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said he was disappointed with the actions of the assemblymen, which were undemocratic.
"Bringing a banner into an assembly meeting is an act usually committed at street demonstrations."
Othman said later the five were defiant, did not comply with the order to leave the house and were disrespectful to the assembly.