EPF withdrawal motion not discussed, opposition walks out of Dewan Rakyat

03 Apr 2023 01:00pm
Photo for illustrative purposes. - FILEPIC (Smaller image, Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Kamal)
Photo for illustrative purposes. - FILEPIC (Smaller image, Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Kamal)

KUALA LUMPUR - Opposition MPs caused a small commotion in Parliament on Monday by walking out en masse from the Dewan Rakyat after the motion to debate the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals had been rejected.

Last week, Machang Member of Parliament Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad had submitted an urgent motion to request for the lower house to debate on targeted withdrawal applications for EPF

Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Alice Lau Kiong refused to entertain requests from the the opposition MP's to refer Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to the Parliamentary Select Committee ( Rights and Freedoms)

"If you are not satisfied please meet with the Speaker (Datuk Johari Abdul)," she told the house.

The commotion happened after Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Kamal (PN-Machang) stood up to dispute Johari's decision in rejecting the emergency motion to bring Anwar to the Parliamentary Select Committee for misleading the house regarding the issue where tax evasions are under the absolute jurisdiction of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) director general.

Fayhsal requested for the Dewan Rakyat session to be adjourned in accordance with Article 18(1) and (2) of the Meeting Rules to give way to the motion to discuss the further disbursement of the EPF in a targeted manner and for those who were desperate.

Opposition chief Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin then continued to defend the motion to be discussed.

He said the people had given a critical signal and were willing to walk on foot to Istana Negara regarding the matter.

"This issue should be discussed as it is a pressing issue and the people want it to be discussed.

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"Some are willing to go to Istana Negara on foot to state their stance. The government is not realising that the people are awaiting a decision," he said.

Alice remained with the decision not to entertain the opposition's request and advised them to send in a letter regarding the matter to Johari.

Datuk Awang Solahuddin Hashim (PN-Pendang) then stood up to defend the same matter, stating that it was of public importance.

Hamzah then said he would walk out of the Dewan Rakyat if the lower house continued with its decision to not debate the motion.

Alice defended the decision and refused to let the commotion continue.

"If you want to leave, then leave," she said.

All the opposition MPs then stormed out and emptied their bloc and proceeded to enter the Dewan Rakyat again after 20 minutes after giving a press conference held at the Parliament lobby.

Shah Alam MP Azli Yusof then questioned the oppositions actions which were seen as a lack of interest to discuss efforts in raising the nation's income including the presentation of the 2023 Finance Bill and the 2023 Extraordinary Profits Levy (Confirmation) Bill.

"The opposition MPs all left the Dewan Rakyat ahead of the bill's presentation agenda.

"Are they not interested to debate the Finance Bill for additional revenue including the Extraordinary Levy Profits Bill he questioned on Twitter.

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