DPM finds Perak assembly mess ‘annoying’
DPM finds Perak assembly mess ‘annoying’
By Debra Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday’s drama in the Perak State Legislative Assembly was “annoying”
Muhyiddin was asked today about the chaotic Perak state assembly sitting.
Yesterday’s events saw the violent removal of speaker V. Sivakumar from his seat by plainclothes policemen, the unconventional election of a new replacement speaker Datuk R. Ganesan who is not a state assemblyman and a shocking six-hour delay of the royal address by the Raja Muda of Perak.
“I think it’s very annoying to see things happening like that,” Muhyiddin told reporters here today.
He noted that it was not the first time it had happened in Perak, but stated the “repeat” drama was worse this time around as it reflected “how crude these actions are”.
He slammed the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) faction for their disrespectful actions that “challenged the very basic principles of democracy without due respect for the basic institutions” of the legislature as well as the monarchy.
“Malaysians should be able to gauge themselves how the opposition behave in this respect,” he said.
“As much as they have got their reasons for doing it they must do it within the limits of the law and with due respect to the institutions that have developed over many years,” he added.
Muhyiddin noted that if the “culture of no respect for parliamentary democracy prevails”, it would have a dire effect on Malaysia’s image.
Asked to elaborate on how the latest Perak crisis affected the country, the deputy premier said he was alarmed at the “trend” showing “disrespect” to the monarchy.
“The sultan or the raja, the pemangku raja, has to wait for six hours, which has never happened in the history of the country,” Muhyiddin said.
“Things of this sort is very unMalaysian in nature. I’m very concerned about the trend that is happening, that is prevailing,” he said.
Muhyiddin refuted the suggestion that the violence was not one-sided.
“No, I think the mentri besar Datuk Zambry has mentioned it did not start from him, they were on the very side waiting for the state assembly to convene,” he said.
“You can see from the television footage and the video clips that have been played a number of times how they misbehaved to the extent of damaging the PA system or something of that sort, which I think should not happen at all.
“You must be able to control your emotions,” he said.
But Muhyiddin was quick to play down the view that Perak had turned into a “war zone” which DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang had quipped yesterday after police denied him and other PR lawmakers entry into the state secretariat in Ipoh – which houses the assembly chambers – despite holding official invitations from speaker Sivakumar.
“There’s no war in Malaysia,” Muhyiddin exclaimed.
“Of course you have to abide by the rules of law. I think the police have given warning and people have to respect the law,” he said, claiming the BN side had not acted improperly.
Asked about the use of force by police to remove Sivakumar even though he was still the official speaker then, Muhyiddin quickly pointed out he was not present in the assembly chambers.
“I was not there. I think there must be a reason why that thing happened,” he said.
“It comes to a certain point when you do not respect the decision of the majority and a new speaker has to be installed,” he said.
Muhyiddin seemed positive that BN had followed procedures in installing Ganesan as the new speaker, when pressed for an explanation.
“Ya, I think it is within the so-called rules that is provided for. I think the bentara was there. The bentara can ask for assistance from the police so I think that’s what they did,” he said, referring to the sergeant-at-arms.
He cut short the questions on the Perak issue, saying he did not want to “argue” with the media on the prickly subject.
Muhyiddin seemed equally reluctant to comment on Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s announcement earlier today that 13 people detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) would be shortly released.
“I don’t know if it has been announced. Let the relevant minister make the announcement,” he said, seeming to sidestep the issue.
Only when pressed did he agree to comment.
“Yes. It shows how the Malaysian government takes into account everything. I think the decision was made wisely after consideration that these people no longer threaten national and public security and there are signs they want to respect the law,” he said.
“So we hope with the decision made, the rakyat will no longer view the government as irresponsible or cruel and so on,” he added.
“It comes to a point when they have repented and are no longer a threat, the decision was made. We hope they will return to society and perhaps, as people say, tell the truth,” he concluded.
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