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Is Hishammuddin warning that Umno Youth will block Koh Tsu Koon and Ong Tee Kiat from becoming Federal Ministers?
(Parliament, Wednesday) : When Dewan Rakyat resumed sitting at 10 am today, I stood up on a point of order to demand explanation why the order for questions set out for today’s 90-minute Question Time had been arbitrarily altered in the last-minute against all parliamentary conventions, procedures and practices to adjust to the Umno General Assembly starting today.
The order for each day’s question time is circulated to MPs just before the adjournment of Parliament the previous day. According to the Order Paper for today which was circulated late last evening, the first two questions are:
However, the Order Paper for today was arbitrarily altered in the last-minute and these first two questions disappeared from the amended Order Paper on the table of every MP – and became the last two questions, viz. No. 23 and No. 24.
Just before the Dewan Rakyat sitting at 10 am, I saw Dr. Wan Azmi rushing into Parliament and when I asked why he was not at the Umno General Assembly, he said his question was the first one today for Question Time and Parliament was more important than the Umno General Assembly. Wan Azmi was right and I commended him for it.
However, when I found the arbitrary and unparliamentary alteration of the Order Paper when Parliament resumed its meeting, I immediately stood up to protest. Instead of getting help from Wan Azmi, the Umno MP for Sik proved his lack of the courage of his conviction and intervened to claim that I was wrong as his question was not No. 1 but officially No. 23.
That was why I rebuked him that if he did not have the courage to stand up to protest against what is wrong, arbitrary and unparliamentary like the last-minute alteration of the Order Paper, although it affected him directly, he should at least keep quiet to allow others to speak up on the issue instead of acting cowardly to defend such an improper and unparliamentary practice.
I also reprimanded the Gerakan MP for Puchong, Lau Yeng Peng for again acting as “Gerakan Tripod No. 1 in Parliament”, always in the forefront among the Barisan Nasional posse to harass DAP MPs in the House although in this instance, his leader, Gerakan Deputy President and Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon had been openly humiliated and attacked at the Umno Youth general assembly yesterday.
When I raised the issue to the attention to the Deputy Speaker, Datuk Lim Si Cheng who was in the Chair, I asked whether the arbitrary and unparliametnary last-minute alteration of today’s Order Paper on the order of questions was because Parliament was subservient and secondary to the Umno General Assembly, and that if so, Parliament might as well be adjourned until the Umno General Assembly is over.
I pointed out the newspaper front-page headlines today on speeches at the Umno Youth General Assembly yesterday about “Don’t play racial card”, but this had not prevented the playing of the racial card at the Umno Youth general assembly yesterday, with Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and Datuk Ong Tee Kiat openly named as “opportunist politicians” in Barisan Nasional and with Umno Youth leader and Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein – again wielding the kris - issuing the specific warning:
“We know who they are. We know where they are and what they are saying. Umno Youth is ready to face these opportunist politicians.
“We will not compromise or give in when it comes to matters involving the future of the country. We will make sure that these sort of leaders have no place in Barisan Nasional.”
This caused me to specifically ask in Parliament this morning, when drawing attention to the arbitrary and unparliamentary last-minute alteration of the Order Paper on the list of questions, whether that quote was a warning by Hishammuddin that Umno Youth would block Koh Tsu Koon and Ong Tee Kiat from becoming Federal Ministers?
A pandemonium in the House ensued with even the Gerakan MP for Puchong joining in the heckling by Barisan Nasional MPs because I was taking up the cudgels on behalf of Tsu Koon and Tee Kiat.
In his ruling, Deputy Speaker Lim Si Cheng conceded that there had been an improper last-minute alteration of the Order Paper on the question list as compared to the Order Paper circulated yesterday, promising to conduct an investigation.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman