Chaos in Malaysian parliament, opposition leader suspended

KUALA LUMPUR: Chaos broke out at the Malaysia Parliament yesterday, ahead of the tabling of the Election Commission's redelineation report, with the suspension of opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) stalwart Lim Kit Siang.

The Gelang Patah lawmaker was instructed by Parliament Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia to leave the House for refusing to sit down and interrupting the proceedings.

Mr Lim had demanded an explanation on why the motion of the redelineation was embargoed after it was kept on the tables of Members of Parliament last Thursday.

Mr Pandikar Amin did not respond to Mr Lim, instead saying he would use his powers as Speaker to suspend a Member of Parliament.

Sitting down quietly, Mr Lim smiled and said he only wanted a clarification on his question.

"I feel ashamed to be in this honourable House but I will still remain here, despite being ashamed," he said.

A commotion ensued and words were exchanged between lawmakers from both sides of the divide.

Other opposition lawmakers said it was the Speaker's moral obligation to explain why the motion was still going on despite pending court cases, saying that this was sub judice.

The Speaker repeatedly told lawmakers to sit down or he would exercise his powers , then asked a minister to put in a motion to suspend Mr Lim.

This created further commotion when several lawmakers cried foul, saying it was undemocratic.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Azalina Othman Said then moved a motion to suspend Mr Lim, while opposition MPs argued that the matter should be put to a debate.

Mr Pandikar Amin then called for a temporary adjournment of the proceedings.

"I am temporarily adjourning the Dewan (Parliament) but when I come back, the instructions to suspend YB Gelang Patah (Lim) and for him to be ejected out of the Dewan will be continued," he added.

"If he refuses, I will instruct the police to escort him and others who refuse to be sent out, and proceedings will continue," said Mr Pandikar Amin.

Mr Lim was given a six-month suspension from Parliament. - THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK