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Opposition MPs withdraw from mob probe panel

KUALA LUMPUR, 17 March 2009: The three opposition members have withdrawn from the special committee set up by the Dewan Rakyat to investigate the 26 Feb incident where Karpal Singh was allegedly prevented from entering Parliament House by a mob.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, in announcing this, said Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur), R Sivarasa (PKR-Subang) and Datuk Kamaruddin Jaffar (PAS-Tumpat) did not attend the committee’s second meeting today and have withdrawn from the panel.

Nazri told reporters this at the Parliament lobby today. The committee first met on 11 March.

The committee is chaired by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia. Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Ronald Kiandee is the deputy chairperson.

The other members of the panel are Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu), Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn (BN-Alor Gajah) and Datuk Nancy Shukri (BN-Batang Sadong).

Nazri said he hoped that opposition Members of Parliament would not dispute any decision adopted by the committee.

“We invited them to attend but they chose not to participate (in the meeting). That’s their decision. We cannot force them. Whatever decision the committee adopts will be brought to the Dewan Rakyat,” he said.

He also said that the number of members of the committee was adequate and the vacancies left by the opposition members would not be taken up by MPs from the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Meanwhile, Kiandee said three people gave their testimony before the committee today. They were Karpal Singh’s special assistant Michael Cornelius and two parliament security guards Nurul Shida Kamarudin and Rahmah Idrus.

He said the meeting went ahead as there was sufficient quorum.

“We have not arrived at a decision. There is another meeting tomorrow. We will decide whether to call witnesses or make a decision,” he said. — Bernama


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