Guan Eng accuses Azhar of bailing out ministers who gave contradictory answers

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DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng accused Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun today of “bailing out” two ministers who gave misleading answers on the cabotage policy in Parliament.

The Bagan MP said Azhar’s decision was a tacit approval for misleading answers to be given in Parliament and brought into question the impartiality and independence of the Speaker.

Bernama

Azhar recently rejected calls by Lim and another parliamentarian to refer Annuar Musa and Wee Ka Siong to the rights and privileges committee, saying he had decided that the ministers did not confuse Parliament when replying to queries on the cabotage policy.

“Azhar should have done his duty, but he chose to cover up facts and allowed misleading statements to be uttered in the House.

“The Speaker’s chair is an impartial one, to seek truth from facts and not allow the facts to be covered up by allowing misleading answers,” Lim told FMT.

“This brings into question the independence and impartiality of the Speaker, who has no business bailing out ministers who have given contradictory answers.

“He should have the courage to speak truth to power. Is it because they are ministers that he does not want to admit they have misled the House?”

Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim, who had also asked Wee and Annuar to be referred to the rights and privileges committee, questioned Azhar’s intentions.

Sim said he has since written a letter to Azhar protesting his decision over the two ministers and insisted that they face the committee.

“Why are they (the ministers) shifting goalposts? If you are ‘salah’ (wrong), you have to accept (it), if it is a 5-0 score, you have to accept and improve,” he said in a jibe over Liverpool’s recent win against Manchester United.

Lim and Sim had wanted Wee and Annuar referred to the rights and privileges committee after both had given different answers on the cabotage issue.

Annuar had said that Facebook and Google had bypassed Malaysia on an internet submarine cable project due to “unresolved cabotage exemption policy issues”.

Wee, on the other hand, said the country’s cabotage exemption policy had no bearing on the tech giants’ decision to bypass Malaysia for the project.

A “cabotage exemption” refers to certain activities that foreign vessels are allowed to continue doing, free from certain restrictions. – FMT