Riot police thwart opposition MPs’ bid to enter Parliament

05-Aug-2021 Intellasia | Malaysiakini | 7:03 AM Print This Post

Malaysia’s political crisis has taken another turn today as opposition MPs attempted to enter the Dewan Rakyat grounds but were turned away as roads were blocked.

They gathered at nearby Dataran Merdeka and planned a march to Parliament.

Meanwhile, all opposition MPs from DAP, PKR, Amanah, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda), Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), Warisan, Parti Sarawak Bersatu and Upko came together to call for the resignation of prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet.

Parliament was originally supposed to be in session today but has been called off, due to Covid-19 cases in the vicinity.

Malaysiakini reports from the ground.

Thank you for following Malaysiakini’s live reports

12pm: Thank you for following our live report today.

Reporting by Geraldine Tong and Fion Yap. Photographs by Azneal Ishak. Social media updates by Wan Irdina.

If you like what we do, support independent media by joining our subscription programme. Details here.

PKR MPs lodge police report

11.30am: PKR’s Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasir and Batu MP P Prabakaran are at the Dang Wangi police station in Kuala Lumpur to lodge a police report over today’s gathering.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil says the duo are there to lodge a report over the closure of Parliament and the act of preventing MPs from entering the Parliament complex.

Govt shutting down people’s voice Batu Kawan MP

11.25am: Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto says the PN government is silencing the voice of the people.

“When you block MPs from attending Parliament sitting, you block the people’s voices from reaching Parliament. When you mute the voice of MPs, you mute the voice of the people.

“There is simply no science behind blocking MPs from entering Parliament. When factories are allowed to open and run, with hundreds if not thousands of people who were tested positive, 220 MPs are not allowed to attend the sitting because of less than one percent positive cases,” she says.

Kasthuri adds that many countries that looked at Malaysia as a country that upheld democracy after May 2018 will probably look at the country grimly when they see the MPs face to face with the FRU just to exercise their right to go to Parliament.

DAP MP Dr Kelvin Yii who represents Bandar Kuching adds that Parliament is supposed to be the pillar of democracy, but Malaysians have seen how an oppressive government has locked down the pillar.

“We love our police officers and FRUs, they are only following instructions, but we must never forget where the instructions came from,” he says.

Govt high-handedness means it’s isolated Nik Nazmi

11.10am: After the order to disperse, PKR’s Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad tells Malaysiakini that the high-handed attitude of the PN government meant it was increasingly isolated from the people.

“The government’s high handedness not just that of the prime minister but of the speaker Azhar Azisan Harun and the Health DG (Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah) and today the Home Ministry in using the FRU has isolated the government and strengthened the opposition’s hand,” he says.

Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng adds the government’s actions do not make sense to him.

“It just doesn’t make any sense at all parliamentarians are banned to enter the Parliament building today but PAC meeting is allowed to proceed, and Parliament staff can work in the building,” he says.

Lim adds a senior police officer told him no one had given the instruction to ban the MPs from entering the Parliament when he asked about it at the FRU barricade.

Fahmi: Third term of Parliament has not been prorogued

10.50am: Dataran Merdeka Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil say MPs cannot be stopped from entering Parliament because the third term of Parliament has not been prorogued.

“The third term of Parliament hasn’t been prorogued, that means the motion is still in effect, so we are very dissatisfied.

“If you look at the motion, MPs cannot be stopped from entering Parliament,” Fahmi tells reporters as the crowd of MPs disperse.

Calling it a breach of their rights as MPs, Fahmi says they will write to the speaker, who he stresses must correct this matter.

Crowd dispersed

10.43am: Jalan Parlimen intersection Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim announces that the march is dispersed after the police at the Jalan Parlimen intersection stop them from moving towards the lower House.

Anwar: 107 opposition MPs join the march

10.39am: Jalan Parlimen intersection Several MPs attempt unsuccessfully to negotiate with the police in order to let them pass.

Meanwhile, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim gives a speech under the flyover in front of the intersection.

He says there are 107 MPs from all opposition parties who joined the march just now.

“We come here to express our stance. The government has lost its legitimacy. They (the government) have violated the Federal Constitution.

“They stopped the MPs from performing their duties, and it is a clear act of treason towards the king,” says Anwar.

He adds that the speaker has failed to fulfil his obligations as well since he tried to protect prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who Anwar claims had lost his legitimacy.

FRU stops MPs on their tracks

10.35am: Jalan Parlimen intersection A line of Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) officers forms a human barrier in front of the road leading to Parliament.

A police officer standing on top of an FRU truck announces to the crowd of MPs and press members that no one will be allowed to pass.

“Everyone, disperse. We will not allow anyone to pass,” the man shouts from atop the truck. There is a line of red FRU trucks parked behind this one.

Meanwhile, the MPs are standing in front of the human barrier chanting various chants, including “Long live the king” and “Muhyiddin step down”.

Opposition MPs start their march

10.25am: Dataran Merdeka The opposition MPs have started to march towards Parliament from here.

A few of them are holding up a banner that says “Mahiaddin and cabinet resign” as they march.

They also start to sing Inilah Barisan Kita and chant “Reformasi” as they march.

Mahathir arrives at Dataran Merdeka

10.15am: Dataran Merdeka Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrives at the field to join the opposition MPs.

The Langkawi MP and Pejuang chairperson also briefly addresses the MPs before joining the march to Parliament.

‘Parliament is MPs’ workplace’

10am: Dataran Merdeka A number of opposition MPs from all opposition parties are gathering here as the roads leading to Parliament have been blocked by the police.

Bandar Baru Kulim MP Saifuddin Nasution says Parliament is the MPs’ workplace and they will try their best to enter their workplace.

Opposition party leaders are taking turns to speak here first before they plan to march to Parliament.

“Step down Muhyiddin, long live the rakyat, long live His Majesty,” DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng shouts at the end of his speech, along with the other MPs.

Also present here today are PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, Muda founder Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir and Warisan president Mohd Shafie Apdal.

MPs gather at Dataran, march planned

9.50am: Opposition MPs have started to gather at Dataran Merdeka in preparation to march to Parliament after failure to negotiate entry.

Since earlier this morning, police Black Marias are seen on site around Parliament, indicating preparation for arrests.

Personnel on duty include the Light Strike Force, aside from police and traffic officers at the designated roadblocks.

MPs gather at Bank Rakyat

9.20am: When contacted, Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii says another group of MPs are gathering at the Bank Rakyat building near Bulatan Dato Onn, about 1.5km away from Parliament.

“Roads are all blocked. We’re not allowed in (to Parliament).

“So we may congregate at another location and march on,” says Yii.

Roads to Parliament closed

9am: Major roads leading to the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur have been closed in apparent anticipation against the attendance of opposition MPs despite the postponement of today’s sitting.

Taking to Facebook, Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin posts a photo of him standing by the roadside with two other MPs.

“Parliament lockdown? Entrance to Parliament blocked by police.

“How can they do that?” he asks.

Chan also shares another photograph of traffic police at a roadblock.

The attempted gathering and subsequent postponement of today’s session came amidst fresh doubts over Muhyiddin’s grip on power following a rebuke from Istana Negara last week.

The palace had revealed that the ruler asked de facto Law minister Takiyuddin Hassan and Attorney-General Idrus Harun to ensure that the emergency ordinances were revoked through a debate and subsequent vote in Parliament, something which the Perikatan Nasional government refused to comply with.

It reprimanded the government for failing to act in line with the Federal Constitution.

The prime minister’s Office countered that Muhyiddin had already advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to annul the emergency ordinances even before the special Parliament sitting convened on July 26, and the Agong is bound under Article 40(1) of the Federal Constitution to act in accordance with the advice.


Category: Malaysia

Print This Post

Comments are closed.