No confidence motion against Badawi government rejected

July 14th, 2008 - 1:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, July 14 IANS) The first no confidence motion against Prime Minister Ahmad Abdullah Badawi’s government was rejected Monday, causing opposition lawmakers in Malaysia’s parliament to stage a protest walk-out. Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected an emergency motion of no confidence in his chamber, citing “use of wrong words” as the reason, The Star Online said.

Opposition Leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had last Thursday filed a non-voting motion that generated a lot of political heat in the wake of a sodomy charge levelled last month against her husband Anwar Ibrahim.

As the government pursues the matter, Ibrahim, denying the charge, has accused the government of hatching “a conspiracy” to prevent his return to parliament in a bye-election.

Ibrahim has been sparring with the government, claiming that he would bring it down by causing defections from the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional.

The opposition has emerged strong since March general election with Ibrahim-led alliance Pakatan Rakyat winning an unprecedented 82 seats in the parliament and gaining control of five of the 13 states.

While the no-trust move was not even brought up in the Rakyat (house) and Wan Ismail was informed via a letter, Monday morning saw much drama outside parliament.

Police cordoned off all entries to parliament, charging that as per intelligence reports, Ibrahim had planned a rally to coincide with his wife’s motion.

This caused a massive traffic jam in the capital city, preventing many lawmakers, media and officials from reaching parliament on time.

Ibrahim was also scheduled to record his statement before the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Monday morning, fighting back the sodomy charge levelled by an aide.

Speaker Mulia told opposition members that what happened outside was not under his jurisdiction, the New Straits Times said in its online report.

Home Minister Syed Hamib Albar apologised to the public for causing inconvenience as a result of the traffic restrictions, but maintained that this was done for public safety.

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