MPs set to stick to Standing Orders

It will be the final week for lawmakers to debate on Budget 2014 before the august House adjourns sine dine for the year-end break.

With limited time to pass the crucial RM46.5bil (S$1.8) development fund, the MPs are expected to stick to the Standing Orders.

This came after two opposition members were given marching orders on Wednesday after testing the patience of Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and his deputy, Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said, with regard to the House rules.

Pandikar Amin gave R. Sivarasa (PKR - Subang) his marching orders at about 4pm on Wednesday for attempting to raise a Hindu temple issue that was brought up three days earlier by N. Surendran (PKR - Padang Serai), which resulted in his six-month suspension and the "paper plane" uproar in the House.

Just before 5pm, when Ismail Mohamed took over the chair from Pandikar Amin, V. Sivakumar (DAP - Batu Gajah) was also ordered out when he raised the same issue despite repeated warnings.

On a lighter note, the attention of the Dewan Rakyat diverted to the RM15mil supposedly spent by the Tourism Ministry to sponsor the jerseys of English Premier League team Cardiff City, owned by Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz refuted an allegation by Hee Loy San (PKR - Petaling Jaya Selatan) that it had to do with Tan being a taiko (big boss).

Nazri said the jersey advertisement was justified as the league drew a global viewership surpassing two billion football fans.

Meanwhile, the Dewan Rakyat rejected several emergency motions by lawmakers.

Among them was a motion to censure the United States, Australia and Singapore over their alleged spying on Malaysia, moved by Shamsul Iskandar (PKR - Bukit Katil), and another one by Datuk Seri Noh Omar (BN - Tanjung Karang) to condemn non-governmental coalition group Comango over its human rights demands against the Federal Constitution and Islam.

A motion by Fuziah Salleh (PKR - Kuantan) to debate the relocation of the St Thomas primary and secondary schools in her constituency was also rejected.

Pandikar Amin and Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee, who had rejected the motions, ruled that besides not being of great urgency, the Government had also taken steps to address the issues.

Outside the House, reports of the hefty pay rise of Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and state representatives drew mixed response from lawmakers.

Noh said the 106 per cent salary hike for the Mentri Besar - from RM14,175 to RM29,250 a month - was unreasonable.

Azmin Ali (PKR - Gombak), who is also Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman and chairman of the backbenchers in the Selangor state assembly, advised Khalid to put on hold the salary hike.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Mentri Besar owes Pakatan Rakyat and the people an explanation to justify the hefty rise.

(Khalid had defended the move, saying that representatives who are not happy with the state's decision can forgo their share or donate it to charity).

This week, all eyes will be on Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Dr J. Loga Bala Mohan when debates resume tomorrow.

He remained unfazed by moves by Lim Lip Eng (DAP - Segambut) to cite him to the Rights and Privileges Committee for allegedly misleading the House with contradictions over the Kuala Lumpur city assessment issue.