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Opposition MPs demand debate on motion over Zahid's DNAA

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul had earlier promised to give them space to speak on the case.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
2 minute read
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Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul. Photo: Bernama
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul. Photo: Bernama

Perikatan Nasional has demanded that Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul make good on his promise yesterday to allow opposition MPs to debate Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's corruption discharge in the Yayasan Akalbudi trial.

Arau MP Shahidan Kasim said the case involving the Umno president needed to be discussed as it has garnered national attention, including from parties in the government.

"All parties have urged the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) to provide an explanation. A prima facie clearly indicates that there is a case, and therefore, the accused party needs to make a defence.

"The AGC spent four years on this case. If they knew it wasn't a serious case, they should have dropped it from the beginning," he said during a parliamentary session today.

He added that the explanation given by the AGC did not shed light on the direction of the case.

On Sept 4, Zahid was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal after the AGC decided to discontinue the case, where he had been on trial over 47 charges of corruption.

The motion to discuss the case was filed by Machang MP Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal yesterday.

Johari said they would be able to debate the motion after the conclusion of the 12th Malaysia Plan mid-term review, but it was postponed to today.

Prior to that, Shahidan had raised Rule 18(1) of the Standing Orders, which allows MPs to seek permission to discuss matters of public interest, but deputy speaker Ramli Mohd Nor, when commenting on the rule, said that the speaker's decision was final.

However, Beluran MP Ronald Kiandee reminded the speaker of his promise to the opposition MPs to discuss the motion.

"The speaker used the text to adjourn the meeting without considering the commitment made," he said.

Meanwhile, Kota Bharu MP Takiyuddin Hasan said that even though the attorney-general cannot attend parliamentary sessions, questions can be directed to the law minister.

"The law minister is well-versed in this matter and can provide answers to what has been raised by opposition MPs," he said.

Tension earlier arose when Pendang MP Awang Solahuddin Hashim spoke of "a lying government" when commenting on the speaker's promise to allow the motion.

This was challenged by Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin from Pakatan Harapan, who claimed that the statement implied ill intentions under Rule 36(6).

However, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who was seated in the opposition bloc after his party withdrew support for the government, said that the criticism was not directed at any individual MP but at the government.

"This is the biggest national-level lie.

"Previously, they said they would fight corruption, not drop cases. But today they are setting them free," he said.

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