A Noisy First Day in Malaysian Parliament
Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia: Wednesday.
It was to be expected. The very first day of business for our Parliament after a shocking twelfth General Election.
Sadly, not much else was debated. The Live telecast showed several Opposition members, perhaps psychologically encouraged by the presence of their adviser, Anwar Ibrahim, yelling and arguing with the Speaker.
There were also scenes in which a number of the National Front members joining in the heated chaos.
The honour of starting the motion of 'thanking the King for his speech' was vested with Ong Ka Ting, President of the Malaysian Chinese Association, a component of the National Front Coalition.
This was a smart move on the Prime Minister as such honour was rarely entrusted to those outside the inner circle of UMNO. Many leaders of MCA were visibly moved and thank Abdullah profusely.
The Malaysian public was however, unfazed by the shouting in the chamber. A random survey found out that they are willing to let that particular episode passed and wait for better debate. What the people on the street did not want is a scene like the old days.
Gone are the days when some ageing members of Parliament are clearly napping instead of listening to the debates. Then again, those who have been usually groggy when they are in the chamber have been replaced by younger and more energetic members. Those who attempted to overstay have been cleverly voted out by the people.
In the past there were problems with quorums because some members just couldn't care less about being in the chamber. What more about joining in the debates.
Even senior ministers were found to be missing from the chamber in the past. When our TV's occasional shot landed on their section they were seen sleeping. This was indeed a sad episode
Anwar Ibrahim was there accompanying Dr Wan Azizah who was elected Opposition leader. He, himself was a four-term member of Parliament. Of course, he got loads of tips on how to run around the house.
Tomorrow, the sun will surely shine steady and it will be another hot day, even inside the chamber.
Tags: Speaker , Shouting , Debate , Chamber , Motion.
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