Anwar & Co suspended for 6 months, matter to go to court

By Patrick Lee, Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat approved a motion today suspending Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim for six months over his statement linking the 1Malaysia concept with the One Israel campaign.

Three other Pakatan MPs – Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak), R Sivarasa (PKR-Subang) and Karpal Singh (DAP-Batu Gelugor) – were also suspended along with Anwar.

The motion to suspend them was passed in the noisy House following a debate involving only Barisan Nasional reps.

Anwar was not in the House when the motion was passed as he had by then led a walkout of Pakatan parliamentarians.

The walkout occurred when Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abd Aziz began to read a second motion to cite three Pakatan MPs for contempt.

The opposition parliamentarians earlier expressed their anger over the manner the motion was being bulldozed through, ostensibly to make sure the four Pakatan parliamentarians are suspended.

They also claimed that Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia was acting on behaf of Umno.

Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) said they would not accept the decision of the House and would take up the matter to the court of law.

“There’s a precedent in the case of Gobind Singh (Deo). It’s so blatant that it cannot be defended,” he said.

Pandemonium in Parliament

Earlier the Parliament erupted into pandemonium as the motion to suspend Anwar was read in the House.

The motion, which was read by Nazri, was met with heavy criticism from the opposition.

As the Speaker Pandikar Amin gave Nazri the go-ahead, opposition MPs stood up to protest the motion and shouted, “APCO! APCO! APCO!” They were also seen waving placards which said, “Kangaroo” and “Kangaroo Court”.

Nazri however appeared unfazed by the Pakatan onslaught, and finished reading the motion to suspend the Permatang Pauh MP from Parliament for the next six months.

Rowdy scenes emerged with chants and shouts from the opposition bench just after Anwar began his speech to defend his position as soon the one-hour question and answer session closed at about 11am.

Pandikar Amin brushed aside the call to step down and proceeded with the motion.

The motion to suspend Anwar came after a parliamentary disciplinary probe on Tuesday found him guilty of misleading members in a row over a national unity slogan, and recommended he be suspended for six months.

The second motion to suspend the three other Pakatan parliamentarians – also for six months each – was for contempt for criticising the probe against Anwar.

According to a statement on the Parliament website, the government said the three had “abused their rights and privileges as an MP and insulted Parliament”.

The suspensions of the four would run beyond the time when pundits expect a general election to be called, even though one is not due until 2013.

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