Vision Schools should be put aside until implementation of RM1 billion fair deal for Chinese education in Eighth Malaysia Plan

Media statement
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): The Barisan Nasional government is using its control of the mainstream mass media to distort and cause confusion as to who was the culprit responsible for the worst parliamentary ruckus in Malaysian history on Wednesday during the emergency parliamentary debate on Sunday’s  police "trigger-happy" firing of tear gas and chemically-laced water cannon, brutality and vandalism against the peaceful crowd at Kesas Highway demanding restoration of the people’s democratic rights.

What transpired during the hour-long emergency debate moved by the PAS MP for Pokok Sena, Mahfuz Omar was best captured  by the Sun report of November 9, 2000:

It is clear from the  accounts I have heard of what transpired in Parliament as well as the official report of the parliamentary proceedings  on Wednesday’s Hansard that the culprit trying to turn the Dewan Rakyat into a Taiwan-type of legislative chamber where Members of Parliament take the law into their own hands in fisticuffs and physical attacks on each other was none other than the Barisan Nasional MP for Tampin Shahziman Abu Mansor.

It is most regrettable that while expressing their dismay and disapproval at the parliamentary ruckus on Wednesday, neither the Speaker Tan Sir Zahir Ismail nor the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim had been fair in not pinpointing Shahziman as the culprit who exceeded the bounds of parliamentary propriety in challenging Mahfuz "to settle the matter physically outside the Dewan".

Malaysians, and in particular the voters, are entitled to know who was the culprit who started the parliamentary mayhem on Wednesday and this can easily be done by telecasting the Putrajaya videotaping of  the Dewan Rakyat ruckus on Wednesday.

Last week, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said that he was keeping a close watch on attendance of MPs at the Dewan Rakyat as he has a live video link-up of the proceedings to his office in Putrajaya and that could look into the chamber to see who is talking and who is not and he knows when the room is empty.

Nobody believes that the Prime Minister would have the time to sit in his  Putrajaya office  to follow the parliamentary proceedings - or he would be guilty of the worst form of parliamentary "truancy" when  he should set the example of diligent attendance in Parliament for the Cabinet Ministers and Barisan Nasional MPs.

If the Prime Minister hardly had the time to tune in to the live video hook-up to the parliamentary proceedings from his Putrajaya office, there is even lesser justification for the installation of a closed circuit camera to allow him to  snoop at parliamentary proceedings without prior approval  or knowledge of Parliament or the nation.

One can only assume that the parliamentary proceedings to Putrajaya are being recorded and taped for viewing by the Prime Minister at his leisure and pleasure.

This is why the Putrajaya videotape of the parliamentary ruckus on Wednesday should be telecast to the nation so that the people can see for themselves the unparliamentary  and gangsterish behaviour  of the BN MP for Tampin in  challenging Mahfuz Omar to a fistfight outside the House.

 If it was Mahfuz who had ignited the parliamentary ruckus with unparliamentary and gangsterish provocation against Barisan Nasional MPs to fisticuffs outside the Chamber, this Putrajaya videotape would have been telecast to the nation already.

After the Putrajaya videotape of Shahziman’s unparliamentary and gangsterish behaviour in the Dewan Rakyat had been telecast to the nation, the Barisan Nasional MP for Tampin should be referred to the Committee of Privileges for grave breach of parliamentary privilege.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman