16 March, 2010

Pakatan MPs walk out

Opposition MPs walked out of the House when they were not allowed to debate on the status of Inspector-General Musa Hassan in the Dewan Rakyat Tuesday.

The motion at hand then pertained to an order by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to the IGP to keep the road leading to the Parliament building free of obstruction and traffic.

The motion is a regular routine by the Government at the start of each Parliament session to ensure that the House representatives have access to the building.

The opposition benchers had wanted to use the motion as a platform to debate issues relating to the police transition plan involving the IGP and other senior officers.

Kamarudin Jaafar (PAS - Tumpat) had stood up to ask that the motion be debated, claming that there is confusion regarding the status of the IGP because of impending changes in the police force.

Hishammuddin had said on Monday that there would be changes in the force involving top police officers in the near future.

He had added that there would be an announcement of the changes within six months.

Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Ronald Kiandee disallowed Kamarudin's call for debate.

He approved the motion, tabled by Hishammuddin, following a majority support from the House.

The opposition MPs later held a press conference outside the hall to explain the Pakatan Rakyat's stand on the motion.

Nasaruddin Mat Isa (PAS - Bachok) said the non-debate on the motion convinced them of the IGP's incompetency to continue his contract of service, which is due to end this year.

Lim Kit Siang expressed regret at the Speaker's decision to decline the debate as there were some crucial points that he was going to present on the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry on the police force.

"Although it is is a convention for a motion like this not to be debated because it is very straightforward, it doesn't mean that we can't have a debate when the MPs who want to debate and I have also debated such motions before," Lim told reporters at a press conference at the Parliament lobby.

The Ipoh Timor MP said that he intended to raise the matter relating to a newspaper report claiming IGP Musa Hassan's resignation.

The editor-in-chief of China Press has been told to resign over a report which claimed that inspector-general of police Musa Hassan had tendered his resignation, veteran MP Lim claimed.

Should the editor refuse, the popular Chinese daily will face three to six months' suspension.

Lim said whatever China Press had done did not warrant such drastic action on the part of the Home Ministry.

"What's the big a deal about the China Press report? It was a mistake, yes. It should have been (reported that Musa was to resign in) September but they said March 25," said Lim.

"(Newspapers in) other countries that report about presidents and prime ministers going to resign, (they) go through corrections and then, of course, their credibility suffers.

"But what is the big deal here with the Home Minister breathing down the neck of the media?" he asked.

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