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Anwar’s Back In Parliament As Opposition Leader

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ended his 10-year absence from Parliament when he was sworn in at 10.05am by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia in the Dewan Rakyat.

Anwar Ibrahim In ParliamentHe can now drop the “de facto” prefix from his position as opposition leader as Pandikar Amin confirmed the endorsement by Pakatan Rakyat of his leadership immediately after the swearing-in.

“According to Standing Order 4A(3), I wish to inform that from the feedback I have received, I am satisfied that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, MP for Permatang Pauh, has received unanimous support from opposition members to be appointed opposition leader,” the speaker told the House to the loud table-thumping by opposition MPs which had soundtracked the entire swearing-in ceremony.

In asking the first question during the Q&A session, the BN’s Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun first congratulated “the honourable Permatang Pauh” and this was echoed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

“I would like to congratulate him on his return to Parliament and also his appointment as opposition leader,” he said before answering the question.

Immediately after, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang stood up to ask a supplementary question but prefixed it by proclaiming that the Permatang Pauh by-election was a “second political tsunami” after the March 8 general election and added that “the government will be sunk like the Titanic”.

Dressed all in black, including his songkok, as is required for the swearing in of an MP, Anwar later told the press that “everyone wanted me to take an oath, so it’s done”, a double entendre alluding to earlier calls for him to swear on the Quran to counter sodomy allegations reiterated in a similar oath taken by his accuser Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Saying that he was glad to be back after a decade of “being denied of my rights, although it’s been good that Azizah has been holding the fort as MP for Permatang Pauh and opposition leader,” referring to his wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

“I feel I am vindicated after all these personal attacks just to deny me — at all cost, Anwar must not be allowed to return to Parliament. But the people of Permatang Pauh are wise enough to want to see me in Parliament. All their machination, the might of those in authority, the massive power and billions of dollars cannot alter the minds of Malaysians,” he stated.

He also commented on fresh calls for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign, saying that it is up to Umno but “clearly the PM has lost the mandate and the Deputy Prime Minister who spearheaded the campaign has been rejected outright. It’s not just them but the entire Umno and their cronies who have amassed billions from the people”.

On the other hand, Anwar was evasive about his much-publicised plans to take over the federal government by Sept 16, merely saying it was on track and that details would be dealt with in due time.

“I can assure you, in our stated policy, when Umno is the opposition, they will be given more right than when we were,” was his only reference to Sept 16.

Anwar Sworn InAsked about the fact that the “live” broadcast of Parliament today had only begun after his swearing in, he replied: “That’s normal for these nasty machinations of the BN government. Even after I have won, they are still in a state of denial. They use their henchmen in the media, RTM and TV3 for example, not just to broadcast malicious and scurrilous attacks but to deny even what is standard procedure.

“Doesn’t this sound stupid?” he added.

Nazri, however, insisted that the government had only ever agreed to broadcast the Q&A session and not specifically proceedings from 10am.

Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek echoed this, saying that “We begin the telecast every day from the first question. Even when we swore in 216 MPs we didn’t have a live telecast, what more for one person?”

Tomorrow, he wil take his place opposite the man he seeks to depose, Finance and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, for the tabling of the 2009 Budget.

“To me it’s about policies,” he said of meeting Abdullah in the Dewan Rakyat. “It is nothing personal. I can meet them and be very civil. It’s the Umno leadership that has been dirty and personal. We did not bring up any issue about their candidate in the by-election. Shouldn’t they feel shameful?”

Anwar left the press conference to be shown his new office as opposition leader by his predecessor, wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail but returned to the Dewan Rakyat at 11.55am.

Anwar’s first statement in the House was to interject during the debate on the controversial DNA Identification Bill, said by the opposition to be targeted at him.

“The one whose credibility is in question is our corrupt leaders. This government’s desire to push the Bill quickly shows they are greedy and disrespectful to the Speaker and the House. They have not given members time to scrutinise the Bill and exercise their responsibility. The government’s approval of the Bill only proves they are corrupt as it has been opposed by all experts in the related fields. The government and Cabinet are afraid of people power.”

Source: The Malaysian Insider

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