Nov 21, 2006

"Who owns Malaysia?" - Fiery argument in parliament

(The Sun) KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 20, 2006): The debate on Budget 2007 for the Entrepreneur & Cooperative Development Ministry in Parliament today turned chaotic when Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang questioned the accuracy of a figure given by Badruddin Amiruldin (BN-Jerai).

"At the (recently concluded) Umno general assembly, there was a mistake stating that the International Herald Tribute was based in the United Kingdom," said Lim chuckling.

The irritated Badruddin rebutted: "Ini negara kami (This is our country). (You are) samseng (thug) and kurang ajar (rough) ... This is Umno's business. You don't interfere."

Chow Kon Yeow (DAP - Tanjong) then joined the fray and said: "His statement is seditious. He should balik Indonesia (go back to Indonesia)."

Chong Eng (DAP - Bukit Mertajam) said she was afraid the Jerai MP may "run amok".

A shouting match between the backbenchers and Opposition MPs erupted, and Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib adjourned proceedings for lunch break at 1pm.

When the House reconvened at 2.30pm, Chong Eng asked Badruddin to withdraw "negara kami" as it had given the impression that the country belonged to Malays only.

Unfazed, Badruddin continued with his debate, upsetting Lim who retorted that Badruddin's statement had offended the non-Malays.

"You are so petty and narrow-minded. And I am a Malaysian," Lim shouted, adding that the Speaker should make a ruling whether the statement was appropriate.

Baharuddin explained that when he said 'negara kami', it includes all Malaysians. However, his clarification failed to pacify the opposition MPs.

Peace was only restored when Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib ruled that Badruddin had no intention to imply the country belonged to Malays only but to all Malaysians.

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