Indian Malaysian lawmaker causes stir in parliament

July 2nd, 2008 - 6:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, July 2 (IANS) Ejected from parliament for two days for defying the chair, Indian Malaysian lawmaker Govind Singh Deo has caused confusion about whether or not he has apologized to Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia. Mulia informed the house that Deo had apologised, but the first-term opposition member said he had merely shown courtesy, saying “Sorry to trouble you”.

Deo sits along with his father Karpal Singh, a parliamentarian for over two decades.

The family of Indian origin lawyer-politicians also includes a son who is a state legislator. They belong to the Democratic Action Party (DAP), of which Karpal Sngh is the national chairman.

“I am satisfied with his apology,” Mulia said, adding that Deo also gave an assurance that there would be no repeat of the incident, when he had insisted on speaking when asked to sit down.

Deo was Monday ejected with the help of the house security staff. After suspension, he met the media in the lobby and made comments which backbenchers deemed had belittled the chair.

An attempt to refer Deo to the Rights and Privileges Committee on Wednesday failed on the grounds that the wrong standing order (rule) was used by back-benchers, Star Online said.

The attempt was deemed flawed by Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee who said: “I am afraid that is the wrong standing order.”

He sought to close the matter saying: “The house will now have to move to the next matter.”

However, the house spent the next 30 minutes to discuss the matter when Ibrahim Ali (Independent) demanded an explanation from Speaker Mulia, The Star said.

“You said he apologised but he said otherwise. Can we know what happened? Reading the newspapers, the impression I get is that your are a liar,” Ibrahim Ali asked.

The speaker said any discussion on what transpired between him and Deo would have to be done after he was not in the chair, after Deputy Speaker Kiandee took over.

Deo’s take on the meeting was: “I went in. I said sorry to trouble you. Is that not polite conversation? I never said sorry for what happened in the Dewan (parliament). I said (to the press) the meeting was cordial.

“I stressed now and here that I never did anything wrong. There is no reason for me to say sorry. I have a lot of regard for him (the speaker).”

Kiandee then told the house it was up to members to decide what had to be done next.

Back-benchers among the treasury benches said they would make another attempt, using the right rule, to arraign Deo before the house committee, the New Straits Times said.

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