Nizar, others ordered out of Parliament over black headbands

By Wong Choon Mei (Suara Keadilan)

In a stark warning to Prime Minister Najib Razak that he won’t be allowed to sweep the unpopular coup d’etat in Perak under the carpet, Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers led by Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin put up a show of protest to assure Perakians that the battle for their democratic rights will not be forgotten but will rage on.

Hatched by Najib, the power grab has left the northwestern state in political and economic turmoil since February.

On the Monday, at the start of a new two-week sitting, five Pakatan MPs, including Nizar, put on black headbands bearing the words ‘Bubar DUN‘ or Dissolve the State Assembly.

“In my oath I said that I will defend the constitution therefore I asked for permission from the Speaker to inform the members on the constitution which has been sidelined in Perak,” said Nizar, who donned the headband after being sworn in as the Bukit Gantang MP.

However, in a bid to save Najib embrarrassment,  they were immediately ordered out of the House by Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.

“Bubar DUN is continuously haunting the BN. They cannot escape. Everywhere they go in the country, accusing fingers point at them and deservedly so,” said Tian Chua, PKR strategic affairs director.

“The usurpers are now afraid to face Nizar. His bravery has made him an icon against oppression – a lionhearted warrior against the dark and corrupt Umno-BN regime.”

Standing up for Perak

Indeed, inspired by the 52-year former engineer, spectators who came to watch Parliament proceedings also began donning similar gear to signify solidarity with the Perak people.

What began as a messy tussle for power has since deteriorated into a full-blown national issue and a source of discontent against Najib, who is nearing his third month in office with nothing to show despite spending millions on a massive publicity campaign.

A recent visit to China hardly drew any interest at home, while a tour by Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was eyed with suspicion and boomeranged back politically.

Already, there is criticism that Najib is merely trying to curry favour with the ‘big boys’ in a bid to pad up his resume at home  – again through cosmetic means unsupported by real result.

By contrast, Nizar’s star has gained since the crisis, impressing Malaysians with his sincerity and all-out efforts to reclaim justice for the people of his state.

Putting on the headband after being sworn in as the Bukt Gantang MP, Nizar raised his left arm and shouted “Hidup rakyat, bubar dewan!” as Pandikar Amin scrambled to throw him and his colleagues out of the hall.

“Please remove the cloths. That is not part of our uniform,” ordered Pandikar, in a bid to save Najib embarrassment.

The other four Pakatan MPs were Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping), Ngeh Khoo Ham (DAP-Beruas), N Gobalakrishnan (PKR-Padang Serai) and Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena).

Although Mahfuz pointed out that former Speaker, the late Zahir Ismail, had allowed anti-Internal Security Act armbands to be worn during the 10th Parliament session, Pandikar paid no heed.

A shouting match ensued as lawmakers from both sides of the divide joined the fray. BN backbenchers screamed back ‘keluar, keluar’ as Pakatan MPs shouted ‘bubar, bubar’. Order was restored after about half hour.

Najib, the most unpopular PM to hold power since independence from British rule in 1957, then stood up to answer a question on his much-criticised 1Malaysia concept posed by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.

Meanwhile, security officials outside the House forced all non-MPs  to remove their ‘Bubar DUN’ headbands or similar gear signifying solidarity with the Perak folk.