Shouting match conquers 1st day of Dewan Rakyat proceedings

The meeting witnesses Bukit Gelugor MP being ejected from the proceedings


THE first day of proceedings of the 14th Parliament started rather fiery yesterday, with heated arguments between the backbencher and Opposition parliamentarians.

As far as I am concerned, it’s a matter of principle, Ramkarpal says, while refusing to retract his ‘gangster’ barb. (pic by BERNAMA)

The meeting also witnessed Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh being ejected from the proceedings — the first MP to be asked to leave in the current session.

Ramkarpal was asked to leave by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, after the former declined to retract the word “gangster” which he used to refer to Umno Youth members, who attacked his father the late Karpal Singh Deo at the Parliament grounds in 2009.

The issue became heated when Ramkarpal interjected during a motion by Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul for the august house to debate the royal address.

The “gangster” issue took approximately 90 minutes to be resolved — one hour before lunch break and 30 minutes after lunch — filled with shouting match between the Opposition MPs and backbenchers.

The Opposition lawmakers, who are experienced MPs with vast knowledge on the Parliament’s standing order, was pressuring the Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon to rule Ramkarpal to retract his statement.

Kuala Krau MP Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said, Beluran MP Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee, Lenggong MP Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah

and Parit Sulong MP Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad were among the Opposition lawmakers who insisted that Ramkarpal retracted the unparliamentary word.

Although Mohd Rashid ruled that Ramkarpal did not do anything unparliamentary, Mohamad Ariff, who presided the meeting after lunch, requested Ramkarpal to retract the statement.

To that, Ramkarpal said: “With greatest of respect, I am afraid I cannot retract my statement because it was merely stating the facts.”

The Speaker then instructed Ramkarpal to be ejected from the house, for the remaining of the day.

Speaking to reporters at the lobby after being ejected, Ramkarpal said Mohd Rashid had already ruled on the matter before the break and before Mohamad Ariff called for a retraction, which was uncalled for.

“As far as I am concerned, it’s a matter of principle,” he said, while refusing to retract his “gangster” barb.

“The rules are very clear. If a ruling has been made and you are not happy with the ruling, you can file a motion under Standing Order 99,” he said.

He said it was not for the Speaker to make another ruling on top of the ruling that was already made.

“It’s very clear in the Standing Order, so that’s my stand and for that reason as a matter of principle, the question of withdrawing whatever it is does not arise because the ruling is final,” he said, pointing out that he was allowed to remain in the Dewan Rakyat by Mohd Rashid.