‘Blockade’ in Malaysian Parliament

The Edge Daily reported that Malaysian Parliament’s Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee had rejected an all-party motion to discuss Israel’s ongoing blockade of Gaza that has left many Palestinians starving and facing humanitarian crisis.

Kiandee argued that the Malaysian government had already made its stand on this, and therefore ‘the issue is not urgent and need not be discussed here’.

Perhaps Kiandee needs to know that it would have made a great difference and political impact had parties from both sides of the political divide in the Dewan Rakyat be given the opportunity to come together and register their common stand pertaining to the Israeli blockade.

Moreover, what does it take to make this issue REALLY urgent in Parliament? Does one wait very patiently until a substantial portion of the Gaza population gets wiped out by hunger, military atrocities, etc?

Many a time, the sense of urgency, or lack of, displayed by the Speaker and/or his deputy boggles the mind.

Besides, this all-party stand on the Israeli blockade is one of the rare moments when ordinary Malaysians are ‘saved’ from the ghastly occasions of racist and sexist remarks and puerile antics exhibited by certain Parliamentarians.

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Members of parliament (MPs) from both sides of the bench stopped their usual bickering and crossed partisan lines yesterday to support a motion tendered by Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi (Batu Pahat-BN) to discuss Israel’s ongoing blockade of the Gaza.

In rejecting the motion, Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee said the Malaysian government has made its stand known to the world on the matter through a statement in October when it asked for strict action to be taken against the Israeli regime.

“I am satisfied that the issue is not urgent and need not be discussed here,” he said, drawing protests from both sides of the House.

Mohd Puad said in his motion that Israel has shown disrespect towards the demands of the international community and United Nations resolutions, which had called for the conflict in Palestine to be resolved peacefully and Palestinians to be given the right to form their own government.

“Israel again had used the blockade tactic and closed all border crossings so that the Palestinians in Gaza were left starving and faced with humanitarian crisis. The regime also has no respect for the Hamas government, which has been chosen as the rightful government during a democratic and fair election,” he added.

Datuk Mohamad Aziz (Sri Gading-BN) who protested Kiandee’s move said the big powers must be alerted so that they can make the Zionists withdraw the blockade.

Salahuddin Ayub (Kubang Kerian-PAS) then asked whether the House could call for those in favour of the motion to stand up but Kiandee said there was no need for that as he had made his decision.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Permatang Pauh-PKR) said it was a good opportunity to show that the BN and PR MPs could unite to agree on an important issue, irrespective of their political stand.

At this juncture, Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan-BN) asked Kiandee to reconsider his decision. Kiandee explained that he rejected the motion after discussing the matter with relevant parties who were satisfied with the government’s stand.

N Gobalakrishnan (Padang Serai-PKR) told Kiandee that the parliament is different from the government, so it needs to take a stand of its own.

Anwar, when met in parliament lobby, said: “I’m upset because this was an opportunity for us to debate this matter. There is a big difference between a government decision and the parliament’s stand.

“A parliamentary stand includes representatives from all the parties. The act of halting food supplies to the Palestinians by the Israeli government is too much. If this had happened to an African nation, it would receive a lot of international criticism. But because it’s done by Israel, it’s seen as trivial.

“The question of supporting Palestine does not come up as this is about humanitarian matters concerning blockade of food.”

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3 Responses to “‘Blockade’ in Malaysian Parliament”


  1. 1 Antares 28 November 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Obviously, the honorable (?) Speaker & his Deputy misheard BLOCKADE for BLOCKHEAD… immediately assumed it was a cruel jibe at their expense… and took serious umbrage.

  2. 2 koli 28 November 2008 at 8:28 pm

    When the post of speaker is not given to the most qualified, then we can expect not the best decisions.

  3. 3 Johnny Cheah 28 November 2008 at 10:30 pm

    IF YOU ASK MY HUMBLE OPINION, THE POST OF CHAIRMAN SHOULD BE HELD BY A PARLIAMENTARIAN FROM BN AND HIS DEPUTY SHOULD BE FROM THE OPPOSITION. WHAT SAYS YOU PEOPLE


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