As usual our MPs had a busy few days:
1) On the issue of LKY:NST
reported that Lee’s letter to Prime Minister did not qualify as an apology. In fact, the ministers felt that the former Singapore prime minister had repackaged his jaundiced views about Chinese here being marginalised and compliant. They also said that since Lee said that he wanted good bilateral ties with Malaysia, the onus was on him to translate that into action.
2) On the issue of repair work for the two schools in Kepala Batas and Muar:The Star
reported that The Government has approved a RM500,000 allocation to repair and refurbish two vernacular schools where the work done was not up to the mark.
“We asked the Cabinet for the amount to repair the schools, and the Prime Minister has approved our request,”
“The Cabinet felt strongly that appropriate action must be taken against those responsible. Investigations are still ongoing on work done at Mah Hua, where only RM45,000 worth of work was done out of the RM90,000 allocation. For Kung Yu, the school block needs to be rebuilt,”
On when work would commence, he said, it would likely be by the end of this year.
3) Dewan Bahasa given power to fineThe Star
reported that the Cabinet has given the DBP the power to advise and fine anyone not using the national language correctly on signboards.
“This step was outlined in a special memorandum between the Education Ministry and my ministry which was approved by the Cabinet to make sure the national language is not sidelined in any way,”
“DBP can now enforce the correct usage of the national language on the public and private sectors,”.
Rais said for a start, DBP would advise anyone found using the language wrongly.
Anyone refusing to follow an order by the DBP director-general can be fined up to RM1,000.
Rais also gave some examples of commonly used terms such as Touch ‘N’ Go and Boulevard that he would like to see changed to Bahasa Malaysia terms.
“The word for ‘Boulevard’ should rightfully be ‘Lebuh Perdana’,” he said.
4) My Cousin Brother in Parliament - Speedy Gonzalez
Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz earned this nickname after he sped through the pages of his replies while winding up the debate on the Budget at policy stage on Monday. Many felt that even with limited time, a minister should allow at least one question from an MP.
Nazri’s contention was that he had 84 pages of replies to read and he could not afford to allow clarification.
“If there is any question, please ask me during the committee stage or write to me,”
Eight DAP MPs, including Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, were so frustrated with Nazri that they walked out of the House as a show of protest. Fong and Karpal Singh stayed behind.
Although the opposition was unhappy with Nazri, the backbenchers seemed to think that it was “acceptable” for a minister not to give way. Deputy Speaker Datuk Lim Si Cheng, who had been chairing proceedings at the time, said Nazri was not going against any Standing Order as he had every right to refuse to give way.
“It is up to the minister. He can use his discretion when a backbencher stands up to ask for penjelasan (clarification).” RT – Two “hot” issues were discussed by Cabinet (ie LKY’s statement and the two schools drama that saw infighting between the 2 prominent politicians in 2 prominent portfolios). In the process more power given to Dewan Bahasa, no more “Touch and Go” (“Raba dan Blah?”/”Pegang and Cabut?”). Although some time back, Dato Nazri aka Speedy Gonzalez takes the cake for events in Parliament.