Tuesday, July 7, 2015

MPs forced to hold 1MDB meeting outdoors, says PKR

BY DIYANA IBRAHIM

PKR communications chief Fahmi Fadzil showing members of parliament sitting on the floor after being denied use of a room to discuss the 1MDB issue. – Twitter pic, July 7, 2015.

PKR communications chief Fahmi Fadzil showing members of parliament sitting on the floor after being denied use of a room to discuss the 1MDB issue. – Twitter pic, July 7, 2015.
Opposition MPs and non-governmental groups which were to meet in Parliament to discuss allegations of state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) involvement in election funding have been barred from using a room in the building and have instead met outside.
PKR communications chief Fahmi Fadzil posted on his Twitter a photo of the MPs sitting on the floor, saying "MPs and NGOs denied space in parliament, hold emergency meeting at Tapak Kawad next to Menara Parlimen".
The meeting was called by opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also PKR president, after it was mooted by DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.
Fahmi had earlier today informed the media in a press advisory that the meeting which was supposed to have been held in a briefing room had to change venue because of a "pre-booking" for an event under the Youth and Sports Ministry.
He said the venue would be changed to the parade grounds outside the Parliament tower.
On his Twitter, Fahmi said the notice that their original venue was unavailable appeared to be last minute.
"The reason given: 'The briefing room has been booked by Perdana Fellows of the Youth and Sports Ministry'. Yesterday nothing was said about this," he tweeted.
He also posted a video of the room the opposition had booked for the meeting on the 14th floor of the Parliament tower, which showed that the room was empty although the lights were on.
“The meeting room that has been booked by Youth and Sports Ministry Perdana Fellows. Empty, locked, no activity.
"MPs and NGOs cldve (could have) used!" Fahmi tweeted, also tagging Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Earlier, he also tweeted that NGO representatives were not allowed to enter the Parliament grounds and were told at the guardhouse that only MPs could do so.
Dr Wan Azizah said the expose by business newspaper Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that RM2.67 billion (US$700 million) had moved from companies linked to 1MDB to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's personal bank accounts have put Malaysia in an unprecedented situation.
The funds were allegedly moved ahead of the general election in May 2013.
The meeting is meant to be bipartisan but Barisan Nasional leaders have dismissed it, saying it was unnecessary.
However, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim denied that the opposition MPs and civil society representatives were "barred" from using the room in Parliament.
He said conditions for such a meeting were not suitable, as Parliament was still in session with the Dewan Negara or Senate sitting. 
“It is not that they cannot go the 14th floor, there is no problem. It is just that the Parliament administrator feels that since the opposition MPs have brought in non-governmental organisations, the conditions are not appropriate, but it is not that they cannot hold a meeting.
"It must be remembered that the Dewan Negara is now in session, so there is a need to take turns with Parliament still undergoing refurbishments. There are space constraints, but they are not prevented from entering. 
“The opposition should not spread lies," Shahidan told The Malaysian Insider. – July 7, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/mps-forced-to-hold-1mdb-meeting-outdoors-says-pkr#sthash.sJKT8l36.dpuf

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