Opposition MPs stage walk out after motion to debate EPF issue … – theSundaily

KUALA LUMPUR: The opposition members of Parliament (MPs) walked out of the Dewan Rakyat this morning in protest after a motion to debate the issue of targeted Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawal was rejected.
Among those who walked out of the Lower House were opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (PN-Larut), Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad (PN-Machang), Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (PN-Arau) and Datuk Awang Hashim (PN-Pendang).
Prior to that, Wan Ahmad Fayhsal raised Standing Order 18(1) to seek permission to debate on the matter as it is related to public interest and informed that his application to table the motion this morning was rejected by the Speaker’s Office last Friday.
“The motion was rejected on the grounds that the Finance Minister and his deputy had explained about the targeted withdrawal.
“However, I received a lot of views and concerns from the public saying that the explanation and comments given by the minister and deputy minister were not satisfactory. So, please allow us to debate this matter today as we have two days left before the session ends,” he said.
His application was rejected by Deputy Speaker Alice Lau Kiong, who stressed that under Standing Order 43, the Speaker’s decision was final, adding that if the MP is not satisfied, the motion can be submitted again.
This had caused dissatisfaction among several MPs, including Shahidan and Hamzah, who asked Alice to reconsider the matter but to no avail.
“If that’s the case, we can walk out as a sign of protest,” said Hamzah, who proceeded to leave the hall followed by other opposition MPs.
The Deputy Speaker then allowed them to leave.
The opposition MPs returned to participate in the debate on the Finance Bill 2023 tabled by Deputy Finance Minister Steven Sim after holding a press conference outside the Lower House.
However, the debate session became heated once again after Pendang MP accused Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad of lying about Malay reserve land in Kedah in the previous sitting.
This prompted Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) to stand up and ask Awang to retract the word ‘lie’ as it was deemed unparliamentary.
Alice also called on the Pendang MP to withdraw his statement and said: “If the facts were inaccurate, ask (the minister) for clarification and not accuse him of telling lies.”
This led to a heated argument before the deputy speaker asked the Pendang MP to leave the hall if he refused to calm down.
Another commotion broke out when Datuk Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh (PN-Besut), who was suspended for three days from last Wednesday, attended today’s sitting, causing Deputy Speaker Datuk Ramli Md Nor to reprimand the act.-Bernama

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