Saturday, December 18, 2010

4 MPs Suspended 6 Months

Who would have thought that BN will stoop so low as to suspend four Opposition MPs (Anwar Ibrahim, R Sivarasa, Karpal Singh and Azmin Ali) on the final day of the twelfth Parliament’s third session? Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia did just that – he had threatened to invoke Standing Order 44 to suspend Anwar for six months over the latter’s March 2010 statements in parliament that linked a government public-relations campaign ("1Malaysia") and involving APCO Worldwide to a similar political campaign (“One Israel”) in the 1999 Israeli general election.

APCO had disputed Anwar's claim. So too had Najib's government, which dismissed Anwar's allegation as a political stunt before vengeful government lawmakers began moves to censure him. Opposition MPs staged a walkout and the motion to suspend Anwar was approved without debate.

Anwar's suspension was recommended by the Rights and Privileges committee comprising of BN MPs who didn’t permit Anwar to state his defense. This was strange because the committee had based their decision solely on a letter from APCO denying Anwar's allegation. This was a one-sided outcome because the powers-that-be listened to APCO but did not extend the same privilege to Anwar.

Three other opposition lawmakers were also suspended for six months for allegedly leaking information from a parliamentary inquiry into whether Anwar misled the legislature – a move that potentially allows the ruling BN to regain a two-thirds parliamentary majority, which is enough to change electoral boundaries and other election procedures to its advantage.

And for those who didn’t know, APCO Worldwide did indeed work for the Malaysian government. Anwar’s vilification of this public affairs and strategic communications firm may be frivolous – but don’t forget that RPK (Raja Petra Kamarudin) has already confirmed that last summer, this entity had in fact, successfully arranged for the photography and videotaping session plus organizing events for Malaysia’s First Lady, i.e. Rosmah Mansor. They also arranged events for Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. And they coordinated plus organized Najib Razak’s visit to the US. Malaysian taxpayers certainly paid millions of Ringgit to give Najib bragging rights with Barack Obama (Webpage, posted December 08, 2010).

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