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Abdullah should ensure that future Umno Assemblies do not clash with Parliamentary sittings to demonstrate his real respect for Parliament as highest political institution in the land to avoid disgraceful episodes of the past two days, including having to adjourn earlier for lack of quorum
(Parliament, Thursday) : The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should ensure that future Umno Assemblies do not clash with Parliamentary sittings to demonstrate his real respect for Parliament as the highest political institution in the land and to avoid a repetition of the disgraceful incidents in Parliament in the past two days, including having to adjourn earlier for lack of quorum.
Dewan Rakyat was forced to be adjourned half-an-hour earlier today at 5 p.m. because of lack of a quorum of the requisite 26 MPs, as when the quorum call was made by the DAP MP for Bukit Mertajam, Chong Eng at 5 p.m. just before the start of the committee stage debate on the Ministry of Entrepreneurial Development and Co-operatives, the quorum bell could only summon up 24 MPs.
DAP had three MPs inside the Chamber which represented 25% of our corps of 12 MPs, while Barisan Nasional could not even muster 12% of their 199 MPs (including front benchers) to have at least 23 MPs to make up the requisite quorum of 26 MPs.
Even with all the 110 Umno MPs attending the Umno General Assembly, there is no reason why the rest of the 89 non-Umno MPs and front-benchers, i.e. 31 from MCA, 10 from Gerakan, 9 from MIC, one from PPP and 28 from Sabah and Sarawak component parties of Barisan Nasional could not rustle up 23 to be present in the Dewan Rakyat.
The last two days have shown Umno having little respect for Parliament, as more than 95 per cent of the Umno Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and MPs were absent from the House.
Yesterday, the Order Paper was even arbitrarily and irresponsibly altered in the last-minute to remove the first two questions because they were asked by two UMNO MPs – showing the scant respect for Parliament, which was treated as secondary, subservient and subordinate to Umno and the various Umno wings..
It is no wonder that the country is bugged with such a huge problem of “Little Napoleons” and other Napoleons in the public service when the backbone of the ruling coalition, Umno, has such little respect for the proper hierarchy of importance of political institutions in the country.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman