Opposition MPs say that it was not a planned move to walk out of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s speech but that it was rather an aggravation by the PM himself and with the “permission” of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, that they walked out en masse.
The MPs had earlier interrupted the PM’s Budget speech by holding up placards reading “Who is MO1 (Malaysian Official 1)”, referring to the United States Department of Justice’s investigation into assets purchased allegedly using money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
When they kept disrupting the speech towards its end, Pandikar told the opposition that if they were not interested to listen to the speech, they can leave. The majority of Opposition MPs then started leaving.
Says DAP Klang MP, Charles Santiago, it is just a statement that the Opposition MPs want to make to tell the Barisan Nasional (BN) government that they are tired of the BN politicking even during the budget presentation.
“It didn’t make sense anymore for us to sit in and listen to the rest of the speech. It is a waste of time. But it will not affect anything, the budget will still be debated on Monday,” he says.
An emotional and frustrated PKR Lemban Pantai MP Nurul Izzah says that the government did not address any of the problems that are faced by the country and at the same time is not allowing the Opposition MPs to voice out their discontent.
“We have not been given any room to voice our opinions. Why is the government using BR1M to cover-up all the questions about corruption?
“Why is he talking about the sabotaging of the economy when he is refusing to address those who took money from our country?” she questions.
PKR Batu MP Tian Chua also points out that the budget speech by the PM was merely a politicking move.
“It is very unethical of him (Najib) to use the budget speech as his opportunity to earn brownie points.
“If he (Najib) wanted to play politics, he should do it outside of the Parliament because what he did was just merely to score political points,” says Tian Chua.
He adds that the government is not looking evaluating the country’s economic situation properly.
“We are lagging behind and the government doesn’t realise it. We cannot compare ourselves to countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and Philippines before they have been all these while behind us.
“What use is it to tell the country that we are better than these countries when we have been better than them all this while?” he says.
The BN MPs commented that the Opposition MPs were immature and rude.
Minister in the PM’s Department and Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said that this is the first time a walkout like this has happened.
“I think they were really rude to walk out on the Prime Minister’s speech.
“Universally parliamentarians offer their utmost respect for the budget speech, but not in this case.
“Well, I’m not going to give them (Opposition MPs) face during the debate. I want to teach them a lesson for being rude and disrespectful, so I won’t be answering any of their questions during the budget debates.
“I will only answer the BN MPs’ questions during the budget debates. If the Opposition MPs want to ask any questions, they can ask them through the BN MPs,” he says.
Besut MP and Minister of Higher Education Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh also says that he had expected for the Opposition to act out in that manner.
“I have been a politician for a long time now, it is nothing new. The Opposition is just being childish and petty. For them to walk out like that it is nothing surprising. They walked out because they didn’t like what they were hearing, it is normal,” he says.
Source : Soo Wern Jun@The Heat Malaysia Online