Assembly law passed despite Pakatan ‘boycott’

Tarani Palani | November 29, 2011

Frustrated Pakatan MPs say the government did not show any seriousness or sincerity in listening to the views put forth by them.

KUALA LUMPUR: Frustrated Pakatan Rakyat MPs today staged a walkout hours before voting even begins on the contested Peaceful Assembly Bill.

When asked as to why they staged a walkout, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad told FMT that the government was adamant in passing the bill despite objections by the Pakatan reps.

“There is no point in us sitting there and we’ve made our point and they are just not going to accept it.

“It would not make any difference by us being in the Dewan. Even if we had waited to vote, it would still not make a difference,” he said.

The PAS MP said that the government did not show any seriousness or sincerity in listening to the views put forth by the Opposition MPs.

“They have made some modifications, but those are purely cosmetic. All our arguments presented in the Dewan have been voiced before in the Internet, in the papers but I don’t think that there is any seriousness and sincerity by the government to review their intentions,” he said.

He added that all the arguments made by the government MPs also reflected little difference from their stance in defending the law and hence MPs were still split over the issue according to party lines.

The amended version of the Peaceful Assembly Bill was later passed by a simple voice vote. No Pakatan parliamentarians were in the Dewan.

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