Thursday, September 18, 2008

Malaysian PM Abdullah against recalling parliament for emergency session

Malaysian PM Abdullah against recalling parliament for emergency sessionBy Channel NewsAsia's Malaysia Correspondent Melissa Goh Posted: 19 September 2008 0016 hrs

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Malaysian PM Abdullah against recalling parliament for emergency session

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's Prime Minister Adbullah Badawi says there is no reason to recall parliament early from its recess which lasts until the middle of October. He was responding to a demand by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for a recall to hold a no-confidence vote against the prime minister. Mr Abdullah said: "I don't see the need for an emergency session, the next parliamentary session begins not too long from now, after Ramadhan month, he can use the opportunity then to do what he wants." Mr Anwar made the call at a news conference on Thursday. He gave Mr Abdullah till September 23 to call for an emergency parliamentary session, failing which he would discuss with Pakatan Rakyat leaders on the next course of action. Mr Anwar said he wanted to exhaust all the legal and constitutional avenues before resorting to seeking audience with the King. He said that he cannot wait till October 13 for the new parliament session to begin as the country is now in a crisis and it needs a way out of the political impasse now and he blamed Mr Abdullah for the delay. Mr Anwar said: "It's in a state of flux, the volatility in the system, look at the economy, look at the arrests, ISA, the threats, the switching of portfolio in the midst of the crisis and the uncertainty of UMNO supreme council meeting, how long can you wait? You must realise this is now the minority government, the majority MPs are with Pakatan Rakyat." Mr Abdullah has said that he sees no need to meet Mr Anwar and challenged him to make public the list of government MPs that had switched sides. But Mr Anwar insisted he has the numbers, according to the opposition website, so far 35 government MPs have pledged to support for Pakatan Rakyat. The opposition now has 84 MPs against the government's 138 this after the Sabah Progressive Party SAPP quit the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional. Mr Abdullah also dismissed fears he might use the ISA on Mr Anwar, after he warned on Wednesday that the government will not hesitate taking action against the opposition leader if he becomes a threat to the country's stability. "I have no plan to use ISA on anyone, if the person feels that he may be arrested under ISA, maybe it's him who feels guilty in the first place," he said. - CNA/de

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