KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 – The Dewan Rakyat sitting this week turned into an uproar following a statement made by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who had allegedly lied on the issue of affordable house prices set by the federal government. Lim was also ordered out of the Dewan Rakyat sitting for causing a commotion during the winding up debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address on Wednesday.
The commotion occurred when Lim urged Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan to withdraw the word ‘bohong’ (lie) which was directed at him last week on the issue of affordable house prices in Penang.
Abdul Rahman said the word ‘lie’ was aimed at the fact presented by Lim and was not directed to Lim, whom through a video uploaded on the Internet had said that the Penang state government set the price of affordable houses in the state at RM400,000 per unit according to a federal government order.
The federal government set the maximum selling price of affordable housing units at RM300,000 per unit. After hearing the explanation by Abdul Rahman, Dewan Rakyat Deputy speaker Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said later ruled that the word ‘lie’ was not directed at Lim but the fact on affordable house prices.
However, Lim was still unhappy with Ismail’s decision and created a commotion. Ismail ordered Lim out of the dewan under Standing Order 44 in which Lim failed to comply with the repeated orders of the Dewan Speaker to sit down while Teo Kok Seong (DAP-Rasah) was also ordered out for making a video recording in the House.
According to Standing Order 36(4) of the Dewan Rakyat, it was out of order for a member of the House to use unparliamentary words or sexist remarks. Abdul Rahman, who resumed his winding up speech said Lim’s action was expected: “He is using an old tactic to be ordered out of the dewan and later outside the dewan he will hold a media conference and cry for sympathy”.
Lim is now being linked to the controversial purchase of a bungalow, allegedly at below market value. During the Dewan Rakyat sitting on March 17, Datuk Shabudin Yahaya (BN-Tasek Gelugor) had called for a valuation by the Department of Valuation and Property Services on a RM2.8 million bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, Penang purchased by Lim, claiming that the purchase price was below the market value.
Shabudin who is chairman of the Penang Regional Development Authority also urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the alleged sale of several lots of land in Penang claimed to have been originally set aside for construction of houses under the Hardcore Poor Housing Project. This week’s Dewan Rakyat sitting also saw 30 ministries winding up on the motion of thanks for the royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.