Karpal being wheeled out of the Dewan Rakyat chamber after being ejected by the speaker
By Deborah Loh, The Nutgraph
KUALA LUMPUR, 2 July 2009: Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parliamentarians staged a walkout in support of Karpal Singh who was ejected from the Dewan Rakyat today following an exchange of words with Umno Member of Parliament (MP) Khairy Jamaluddin.
Karpal, the DAP chairperson, and Khairy, who is Umno Youth chief, locked horns over the fracas with four Selangor Umno Youth leaders who on 26 Feb 2009 harassed and obstructed Karpal from entering Parliament.
Karpal, the MP for Bukit Gelugor, was told to leave the house by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia after he retorted that Khairy was "unworthy" of accusing him because Khairy was "a person guilty of corruption".
Plenty of name-calling was exchanged between the PR and Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs as they debated a motion to adopt the punishments recommended by a select parliamentary committee set up to probe the February incident.
The proposed punishment for the four Youth leaders was a RM1,000 fine each, which they paid in Parliament today. The four leaders who were fined were Serdang Umno Youth head Ungku Mat Salleh, Petaling Jaya Utara Youth chief Latt Shahrizan Abdullah, Gombak Youth chief Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din, and Shah Alam Youth chief Azhari Shaari.
The committee had also called for eight PR MPs to be admonished by the speaker for refusing to attend the inquiry either as witnesses or as committee members. They are Karpal himself, Fong Po Kuan, Lim Lip Eng, N Gobalakrishnan, Fong Kui Lun, Lim Kit Siang, Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar, and R Sivarasa.
The motion was passed by BN MPs after Lim (Ipoh Timur-DAP) led the remaining PR legislators out of the House when Karpal left.
Karpal stood his ground for a while after Pandikar ordered him out, demanding higher fines and stiffer punishment for the Umno Youth leaders, including arrests and court action.
Fong (Batu Gajah-DAP) said Pandikar should not chair the session to debate the motion due to a conflict of interest, as he had also chaired the select committee that investigated the incident.
Datuk Razali Ibrahim Khairy (Rembau-BN) tried to rebut Karpal by saying that the Umno Youth leaders had already apologised to Parliament for their actions.
Khairy added that none of them had touched Karpal's body and that the four had only wanted Karpal to account for his allegation that Umno Youth had sent him live bullets and for his use of the word "celaka" on the youth wing. Karpal had made this accusation in the Dewan Rakyat on 25 Feb.
Karpal started it
In the Parliament lobby, Khairy told reporters after the motion was passed that Karpal was "a big fat liar" who "did not dare" to repeat his allegation about the live bullets outside of the House.
"He knows that he can say it inside the Dewan because of parliamentary immunity. I have challenged him to repeat it outside but he will not.
"He is the root cause of why the incident happened, his lack of respect for Parliament, for the rulers, for Pemuda Umno, and his tendency to keep on lying. Today is proof that he is an MP who lies through his teeth," Khairy said.
Khairy said the payment of the RM1,000 fine and the Youth leaders' apology to Parliament showed that they had taken responsibility for their actions, whereas no action was taken against Karpal for his "foul mouth".
"We should have more strenuous punishment for MPs who flout rules and who disrespect the House. He should apologise to us as what he said was unprovoked," said Khairy.
Karpal told reporters earlier after leaving the Dewan Rakyat that the four Youth leaders should have come inside the House to make their apology.