KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 – Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament, Nurul Izzah Anwar appears to insist on reading the speech of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also her father, for the debate on the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow.
Met by reporters after the opening of the third session of the 13th Parliament today, Nurul Izzah said she saw no problem in being allowed to represent her father. “This is because previously, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution (former Machang MP) had represented the Opposition Leader (Anwar) in reading out the speech,” she said at the Parliament lobby.
Anwar is currently incarcerated in Sungai Buloh Prison after the Federal Court rejected his last appeal and upheld his conviction and five-year jail sentence for sodomising is aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in 2008. Anwar’s attempt to be allowed to attend the Dewan Rakyat sitting has been rejected by the Prisons Department based on Section 31(1)(a) of the Prisons Act 1995.
Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker, Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said, when met by Bernama, said whether Nurul Izzah would be allowed to represent her father would depend on the decision of Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia. At the moment, it could not be ascertained whether Pandikar Amin had agreed to this, as he could not be contacted for his comments.
On the wearing of all-black attire by some Opposition lawmakers in Parliament today in protest of Anwar not being allowed to attend the Dewan Rakyat session, Ismail said their action was not against the parliamentary Standing Order. “Under Rule 41 (1) (f), male parliamentarians can wear traditional attire or lounge suit, and all can also wear the ceremonial attire or any other allowed by the Speaker,” he said. The Dewan Rakyat’s first meeting of the third session which started today, will end on April 9.