Anwar upset no live telecast of his swearing in

KUALA LUMPUR : After an absence of 10 years, PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim made a triumphant return to Parliament as the Permatang Pauh MP today, this time as opposition leader.

He was sworn in after morning prayers at 10.05am in the presence of Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia in the august House.

His wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the former Permatang Pauh MP who had resigned to pave the way for her husband’s return to active politics, and their daughters, witnessed the event.

“Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. I, Anwar Ibrahim, as an MP, do hereby swear with all honesty that I will fulfill my duties honestly and will defend and protect the constitution,” he said to thumps of support from the opposition members.

He then took the seat allocated for the opposition leader, located at the front row of Block H, directly facing the seat of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and next to Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Pandikar Amin also announced Anwar’s appointment as the Opposition leader.

Later, at a press conference, Anwar hit out at the Barisan Nasional (BN) government for not allowing the live telecast of his swearing-in.

“I was told by sources in RTM (Radio Televisyen Malaysia) that it (the live telecast) will not begin until Anwar’s swearing-in finishes.”

The swearing-in, which took place before the question-and-answer session, was not broadcast live at 10am, the daily live session over RTM.

On his feeling on being back in Parliament, Anwar said: “Everyone wanted me to take the oath, so it is now done and I look forword to my role with my colleagues in Parti Keadilan Rakyat, PAS and DAP in parliament. I am glad to be back after a decade.”

Anwar said he wished to turn the House into a functional platform to raise the claims of the people together with other opposition parties, and will discuss with his Pakatan Rakyat partners on forming a shadow cabinet.

On his Sept 16 deadline for the current administration to fall, Anwar said PR will deal with the deadline even it falls during the fasting month.

He said the BN MPs will not be “hopping over” to the PR but merely “crossing over”. “However, there is no need to talk about it now. We will inform (about BN MPs crossing over) when the time is right.”

On Kulim-Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Noordin’s involvement in the protest of the Bar Council’s public forum on conversion of Islam, Anwar said the case has been refered to the disciplinary committee and that Zulkifli must be given the right to explain himself.

Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said no exception will be made for any MP who wins in a by-election to have his swearing-in broadcast live.

“The daily live telecast begins only at the first question, so we maintain it. No exception for today (Thursday). There was no live telecast for the 219 MPs taking their oath when parliament first started, so no way for a person to enjoy special treatment,” he said.

It was learned later that there was a live telecast of the oath-taking of the 219 new MPs on April 28.

Husna Yusop and Giam Say Khoon
The Sun

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