‘Anwar’s parliament speech will be heard’


(National Express) – Parliamentary opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s official speech of thanks to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s address will still be heard in the Dewan Rakyat even if he is denied permission to attend the parliamentary session that opens on Mar 9.

Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar confirmed that Anwar’s speech will still be delivered in Parliament regardless of the circumstances.

Malaysiakini understands PKR will appoint one of its MPs to read the speech on behalf of Anwar, and Nurul Izzah, Anwar’s eldest daughter, is the likely candidate.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook confirmed to Malaysiakini that his party has agreed to the arrangement, meaning there will not be a void for the opposition leader’s speech in Parliament.

Loke is also DAP’s parliamentary whip.

“DAP is agreeable to the arrangement as long as someone from PKR reads out the speech. We think the most ideal candidate to read the speech is Lembah Pantai (Nurul Izzah),” he said.

Anwar is still effectively a MP and opposition leader pending a royal pardon application that the palace is reviewing.

In a statement today, Nurul Izzah said that the government had passed an opportunity to uphold the Federal Constitution by not allowing Anwar to attend the Parliament session.

Anwar was denied permission by the Prisons Department despite an official request by Nurul Izzah and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

“If the Prime Minister abstains from his constitutional duty, we will not follow suit. Rest assured, the Opposition Leaders’ speech will be heard in Parliament,” she said.

Anwar is serving a five-year jail sentence at the Sungai Buloh prison after being convicted of sodomising a former aide.