Thursday, August 28, 2008

First day in Parliament, Parliament is already shaking

Thursday August 28, 2008 MYT 2:10:17 PM - The Star

Anwar challenges DNA Bill


KUALA LUMPUR: Newly-minted Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim made his first appearance in the House after being sworn in as MP to participate briefly in the debate on the DNA Identification Bill.

The PKR adviser, who had left the Dewan Rakyat earlier upon being sworn in, walked in around noon bearing a briefcase while Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (PAS - Kota Raja) held the floor with her take on the DNA Identification Bill.

After Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN - Pasir Salak) interjected to ask Dr Siti Mariah whether the Bar Council "was a credible body" in the first place to cast doubts on the Bill, Anwar stood up.

"Don't Yang Berhormat agree with me that the one with no credibility is the corruption-ridden Government?

"This is the Government which tabled a Bill last Monday, giving no opportunity to MPs, including those of friends from the other side, to study it, and presented it with malicious intention.

"This is a Bill which has seen opposition from both the Bar Council and non-governmental groups," he said, adding that the Opposition would support any Bill that would benefit the people.

"But we are against the method employed by the Government to push this Bill through without taking heed of the public's voice," he said.

The Opposition had argued that the Bill was "politically motivated" in light of the sodomy case against Anwar.

This led to MPs like Dr Hatta Ramli (PAS - Kuala Krai), Lim Kit Siang (DAP - Ipoh Timor) and Dr Lo' Lo' Ghazali (PAS - Titiwangsa) to interject as well.

At one point, a shouting match erupted between Tajuddin and Lim, watched on by an amused Anwar.

He finally left the Dewan around 12.15pm.

To placate everyone, Dr Siti Mariah said she agreed with everyone's points - even Tajuddin's, prompting a few chuckles.

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