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Pandemonium, walkout after PM refuses to retract accusation against Putrajaya MP

The walkout was in protest of the speaker's refusal to demand that Anwar Ibrahim retract an accusation of corruption against Radzi Jidin.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim during his winding-up speech for the 12th Malaysia Plan mid-term review debate today, Sept 19. Photo: Bernama
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim during his winding-up speech for the 12th Malaysia Plan mid-term review debate today, Sept 19. Photo: Bernama

Nearly every MP from Perikatan Nasional today walked out of the Dewan Rakyat in a sign of protest after the speaker refused to demand that Anwar Ibrahim retract an accusation against Putrajaya MP Radzi Jidin as the prime minister was explaining the discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) granted to Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Anwar, the Tambun MP, said in the Dewan Rakyat that he had never discussed a DNAA for Zahid with the attorney-general.

However, Anwar, in a comment believed to be addressed to Radzi, said, "I demanded an explanation from him (the attorney-general). You can laugh, Putrajaya (Radzi), because you did that. During your administration, you did that."

Radzi then repeatedly demanded that Anwar withdraw the accusation while several other government MPs stood and attempted to interject.

"This is a malicious accusation. Withdraw it! This is my dignity," Radzi said.

But the chaos continued even as speaker Johari Abdul tried to calm everyone down.

"I want to ask, does Tambun stand by the earlier decision? If he is convinced, then so be it."

Radzi, however, appeared to be further angered by the speaker's statement.

"If he talks about confidence, I say I'm confident that Tambun is a sodomiser. I'm confident that Tambun is a sodomiser," Radzi said repeatedly, referring to Anwar's past convictions in two sodomy cases.

Opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin then admonished Anwar for the accusation against Radzi, which he said had not been proven.

"Even if it's true, let it be proven first. This is what prompted Putrajaya (Radzi) to rise to defend his dignity.

"Let's discuss this DNAA as a matter that has already happened. It has nothing to do with it; out of nowhere, Putrajaya is mentioned. It's not fair; that's why he's standing up to protect his dignity.

"That's why I ask YAB (Anwar) to resolve and retract it. Because later on, my colleagues might bring up other matters, and it'll be troublesome," Hamzah said.

When asked by the speaker again, Anwar said what he meant was that Radzi "knows how the past administration worked".

The Dewan Rakyat erupted once again as opposition members accused the prime minister of trying to twist the situation.

"Are you challenging me?" Johari asked Radzi.

"I'm not challenging you. I'm requesting justice from the speaker. When my dignity is tarnished without any connection whatsoever, I seek justice so that Tambun (Anwar) withdraws his statement; that's all," Radzi said.

Johari, however, warned Radzi that he would have to leave if he continued demanding that Anwar withdraw his statement.

Several MPs, including Johari's son, Mohammed Taufiq Johari (Sungai Petani), also shouted at Radzi to leave the Dewan Rakyat.

Hamzah then questioned the speaker's decision.

"If the speaker asks Putrajaya (Radzi) to leave, it's a matter of our dignity, too; we'll all leave. That's why I cannot accept something that is not fairly accounted for. Give us justice."