Opposition MPs under fire for boycott

MALAYSIA - The absence of Opposition MPs in the Dewan Rakyat drew criticisms from their Barisan Nasional counterparts.

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia announced some questions had to be skipped as the MPs were absent.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was in the House to answer queries about the National Reconciliation Plan but had to give a written reply due to the MPs' absence.

Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, who proposed the motion of thanks on the Royal Address, said the opposition boycott was irresponsible.

"They talk about the importance of separation of powers between the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative, yet they boycott Parliament because of a court decision," he said.

Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong) said the planned boycott was a disgrace.

"It is like a child sulking and refusing to eat. This shows their immaturity," he said during the debate.

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) suggested that a law be formulated to discipline those who skip Parliament without valid reason.

Datuk Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid (BN-Kota Tinggi) suggested that Kajang voters (who will go for a by-election on March 23) should boycott the PKR candidate (Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail).