Parliament walkout pre-planned, says Pandikar

Pandikar-ParlimenKUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia today claimed that the walkout by the opposition during the tabling of Budget 2017 was planned and had nothing to do with him.

“I heard about it. People told me a day earlier of such plans.

“Don’t play games with me Permatang Pauh,” he said, referring to PKR lawmaker Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in Parliament.

Wan Azizah, who is also the opposition leader, had led the walkout last week.

A majority of opposition MPs decided to storm out during the tabling of Budget 2017 last Friday, after Prime Minister Najib Razak had challenged them to do so.

The “drama” started when Najib was said to have offended opposition MPs by attacking former leaders, including a former prime minister and deputy prime minister who were backing the opposition.

Many of the opposition MPs then stood up holding placards bearing the words “Who is MO1?” MO1 is an acronym for Malaysian Official One, a term which is found in the United States Department of Justice’s civil lawsuit against 1MDB.

Seeing the commotion created, with Barisan Nasional backbenchers shouting down the opposition, Pandikar said if lawmakers are not interested in the Budget 2017 speech, they could leave the Dewan.

Najib then dared those “without any substance” to leave the hall, accusing the opposition of creating drama.

Pandikar’s claim that the opposition was playing games led Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) to question what he meant by “playing games”.

“Tuan Speaker, what game are we playing. I was not in the house on Friday.”

To this, Pandikar replied: “Since you asked. When the lawmakers walked out, all of them had decided to do so earlier.”