Sunday, June 9, 2013

PKR: Parliament boycott only a suggestion

Tian Chua (left) said the call to boycott the Parliament sitting was only a suggestion and no official decision has been made.

The call to boycott the Parliament sitting was only a suggestion and no official decision has been made as of now, PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang has clarified.

Several newspapers reported today that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) anchor party was alone in its decision to snub the swearing in of its lawmakers on June 24 to protest against alleged fraudulence in Election 2013.

“We are just boycotting the swearing in as a protest until all members of the Elections Commission (EC) resigns.

“But this is only a suggestion. No decision has been made,” Chua, who is also Batu MP, told The Malaysian Insider.

Last Friday, PR leaders said its MPs are expected to boycott next Tuesday’s parliamentary briefing as a symbolic gesture to show the pact’s seriousness in its push for electoral reforms.

The DAP’s Anthony Loke (picture) confirmed the decision, which was made earlier this week by the PR leadership council, saying the move comes on the back of the string of rallies held nationwide to protest against Barisan Nasional’s (BN) alleged use of fraud to win the just-concluded Election 2013.

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He noted that the pact was also planning another mammoth protest in Padang Merbok here next Saturday and attending the briefing would appear to contradict the purpose of the rally.

Loke, however, said the proposal to boycott the sitting was never raised in the last PR meeting and that the DAP would not agree to the idea if PKR decides to proceed with the snub.

“As far as the DAP is concerned, we will be attending the swearing-in. There was no decision to boycott in the past meeting,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

On Chua’s suggestion, Loke said PKR has the right to make any proposals but any collective move must have the consensus of all parties in PR.

PAS central working committee member Khalid Samad said his party disagrees with the suggestion and said it was akin to betraying the voters who entrusted them with the task of carrying their voice in Parliament.

“I think the rakyat voted us in irrespective of the fraud so we must respect the trust given so that we can carry our voice in Parliament,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

The second-term Shah Alam MP had also criticised the proposal as illogical and “dramatic”, adding that those who made the suggestion “is not looking at the big picture”.

He noted that PR is slowly gaining strength and inching closer towards Putrajaya as seen by the popular votes it mustered in Election 2013.

“So why stop, we should just continue to do our need take dramatic action that is not popular with the rakyat,” he said.

PR leaders have claimed that Election 2013 was fraught with irregularities and have held several “Black 505” rallies nationwide to protests a result that saw the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition retaining power despite losing the popular vote.

The federal opposition pact is also in the midst of preparing its legal challenge on some of the polls results and is expected to file dozens of petitions soon.

The number of petitions will likely be the biggest in Malaysia’s political history as PR aims to pile the pressure and force Putrajaya to execute polls reform, starting with the immediate culling of all Elections Commission members.

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