The opening session of Malaysia's new parliament descended into noisy name-calling Wednesday as a newly emboldened opposition took on the government.
The Dewan Rakyat today kicked off with a fiery question-and-answer session where top opposition parliamentarians crossed swords with both the speaker and Barisan Nasional backbenchers.
The temperature went up few notches during the 90-minute session after a number of controversial rulings from speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia and an 'unparliamentary remark' from Ibrahim Ali (Independent-Pasir Mas) which drew heckles from the opposition Pakatan Rakyat MPs.
"Monkey" and "Bigfoot" were two of the epithets hurled in a rowdy session during which lawmakers shouted and gesticulated in heated exchanges across the floor of the chamber.
The scenes, broadcast live on television. The trial live telecast of 30 minutes of the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat may be reviewed because Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek feels several Opposition MPs attempted to seek cheap publicity by raising trivial issues during today’s maiden broadcast.
He said several MPs often interfered in the proceedings by raising questions pertaining to the standing orders and attempted to highlight their own interests instead of the people.
“There may be people who want to watch a circus but Parliament is not a circus,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby, here.
Ahmad Shabery said he was disappointed that the Opposition failed to show appreciation for the institution of parliament and misused it during today’s session.