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Friday, October 15, 2004


Pak Lah to the Rescue?

::When commenting on media reports on the demand by several BN MPs calling for Samy Vellu to resign over problems faced by his ministry, Pak Lah said yesterday that it was not proper for MPs, particularly from the BN, to demand the resignation of any MINIster during Dewan Rakyat sessions. Aspiring, perspiring and current MPs take note, according to the Bernama report, Pak Lah also said "We have rules where members of the house from the ruling party cannot demand any minister to resign." Which then begs the questions :: are errant MINIsters expected to simply resign on their own or can only oppostion MPs call for their resignation? The Star's take on the issue :: “They must understand that they are in the Dewan and the only right they have is to debate the issues,” he said, adding that it was procedurally wrong for them to force a Minister to resign. So it looks like the rules of engagement in the Dewan. according to Pak Lah, are when in the Dewan, debat, debat, debat and no resignation calls!

Meanwhile Najib is reported as saying that Samy Vellu should explain in the Dewan Rakyat the various issues raised affecting his ministry. Najib appears to have sidestepped, the resignation demand for Samy. The Sun reported him as having said :: "I believe the Works Minister could throw light on the matters raised by members of the House."

What has the BBC chairperson got to say, Datuk Shahrir Samad said the MPs’ call for Samy Vellu to resign was not a destructive but constructive statement. He added the following :: “And I don’t think they have been destructive by pointing out that the Minister has not been doing his job and deserves to be transferred elsewhere." According to the STS, the resigantion call was unprecedented and had 'crossed an unwritten boundary' for calls for the resignations of ministers are normally the province of opposition MPs. According to this report, Datuk Shahrir is said to have praised the MPs for taking their responsibilities seriously. And he reportedly said ::
'Our role is not merely debating and approving legislation and the Budget.'
'We also monitor how the Budget allocation is spent. It is our responsibility to the voting public to fulfill the pledge of a clean, efficient and open government.'


Malaysiakini reported that some fellow ministers and other BN Parlaimentarians have described the resignation calls as 'disrespectful', 'unusual', “ridiculous and shocking”. Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Itam) who asked Samy to “shut up” if the minister is not familiar with certain issues involving the ministry as he lacks an engineering background was singled out as a 'disappointment'.

On Wednesday, DAP's Fong Po Kuan [Batu Gajah] proposed that a no-confidence motion be moved against Samy and sought support from the BN backbenchers but none were coming. This is said to have prompted the opposition leader to say that the backbenchers only knew how to talk loudly but still abided by the ‘kowtow’ culture and that they were 'hipokrits' [what is meant by that]. So it looks like it won't be wrong to say that we have another BN sandiwara in the making.

As for Samy, it looks like he just can't wait to come out with guns blazing to answer those 'disrespectful' resignation callers, especially one Ka Siong Wee, who has stingingly labelled Samy as a layman/orang biasa! Samy retorted :: "I am not a layman. I am qualified to speak on these matters." [note: Samy is said to be a 'master architect']
More excerpts from the NST ::
Dismissing their calls for his resignation, Samy Vellu said his comments on the MRR2 were based on discussions he had with consultants. "Some of them who spoke were too emotional. They did not have all the information," he said in an interview with the New Straits Times on the sidelines of the annual meeting between members of the Malaysian and Thai Cabinets in Phuket.

He said it was not prudent to blacklist the contractors who built the hospital at this time because they had to repair the defects.

"If the contractors are blacklisted, we will have o TURN TO PAGE 2, COL 4 (NST :what's this?]to do another tender, work out the pricing again and this will delay the whole process," he added.

The ferocity of the attack in Parliament surprised the minister. He spent much of today fielding calls from Kuala Lumpur and getting his ministry officials to prepare a detailed response to points raised in the House. At one point, he wanted to deliver a ministerial statement in Parliament but dropped the idea when he learnt that Parliament was not sitting during the fasting month.

He is likely to speak extensively on the MRR2, the mudslide along the North-South Expressway and the hospital in Johor. The debate which started in Parliament is far from over.


The rakyat awaits gleefully and expectantly. More sandiwara to while the monsoon season away?



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