19 July 2013

Drama unfolded in the house with one Gerakan MP escaping being referred to the Parliament Rights and Privileges Committee for alleging that Anwar Ibrahim has bank accounts abroad, while an Umno MP challenges an opposition member to a fist fight.

Liang Teck Meng (BN-Simpang Renggam) claimed that the opposition leader has 20 bank accounts overseas including nine in a certain 'National Bank of Israel'.

However, 107 parliamentarians voted against a motion brought by Jeff Ooi (DAP-Jelutong) to refer Liang to the committee in en bloc voting after two hours of debate.

Sixty MPs voted in favour of referring Liang to the committee, for misleading the house in contravention of standing order 36(12).

Liang ( right ) while debating the royal address on July 2 quoted whistleblower organisation Wikileaks when he claimed that Anwar has RM332 million stashed overseas.

This led to Ooi suggesting, while tabling his motion, for Liang to be suspended for six months.

Defending himself, Liang said he obtained the information from "blogs" which "many people, including himself, believe".

As such, the Gerakan MP said, he did not meet the criteria set to determine if a MP has misled the House as he did not know that the information was untrue.

He also added that a statutory declaration was made by one Abdul Murad Halim that Anwar has money stashed overseas.

"I have no personal interest in this but it is a matter of national security. It has to do with foreign intervention in Malaysian politics...," he said.

However, this was attacked by Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz (DAP-Raub) who said that Liang was trying to liken himself to US whistleblower Edward Snowden by stressing that it is a security issue.

The fact was, he said in his speech, Liang cited anonymous blogs without verifying his facts.

Johari Abdul (PKR-Sungai Petani), while debating the motion, said Liang had said these things in the hope that the media would "pick it up" and it would result in character assassination.

'Let's have a fist fight'

Johari and other opposition MPs were, however, heckled by Othman Abdul (BN-Pendang) who among others taunted the MPs with cries of "penakut" (coward) and "pondan" (transsexual).

His theatrics prompted one MP to call him a "gangster" to which he retorted: "Did you say 'gangster'? If you did then let's have a fist fight outside. If I'm really a gangster see me outside. Bullshit lah ."

At one point, Johari ( left ) told Othman: "People in your kampung can watch you (through the live streaming). They will see how their ustad (religious scholar) is behaving."

Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin (PKR-Bukit Katil) also debunked Abdul Murad's statutory declaration with another statutory declaration by a former Anti-Corruption Agency investigator who testified to having found no basis for Abdul Murad's claim after extensive and international investigations.

Debating in Liang's defence was Anuar Musa (BN-Ketereh) who said that Liang was justified in raising the matter as it involved a former high ranking official and a sizeable amount of money.

"The Dewan should, in fact, laud Simpang Renggam for his bravery," he said.

Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) also noted that Liang may have appeared "reckless" in the manner he expressed himself during the royal address but the latter was not guilty of misleading the house.

Following the vote in which the motion was defeated, the Dewan Rakyat adjourned to the next session.


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