Disrespectful to walk out, says Khairy

KUALA LUMPUR: Khairy Jamaluddin distanced himself from the Opposition MPs who staged a walkout at the Dewan Rakyat today. He described the action as disrespectful and said it would shed more bad light on Barisan Nasional (BN).

The former Umno Youth chief, who was one of only three BN lawmakers to remain in the Dewan, said he stayed because it was the right thing to do in respect of the proceeding.

BN and PAS MPs walked out in protest of the appointment of Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, who was about to be sworn in.

“Although there are some dispute to the appointment, I felt that (walkout) is not the way to protest. Today is the swearing-in ceremony, so everyone must respect the Dewan and the ceremony,” he told reporters after the swearing-in ceremony, here, today.

“They can protest the appointment during the debate, after the officiating ceremony tomorrow, or through the parliament's standing order Wednesday onwards.

“To me, it is better to respect the Dewan Rakyat ceremony and not do anything that can ruin BN's image as an opposition,” he said.

The opposition lawmakers left the Dewan in protest of Mohamad Ariff's appointment as they claimed it was not done in accordance to the Parliament's standing order which requires the name of the speaker to be submitted at least 14 days prior to the sitting.

When asked what he made of his BN comrades who joined the mass walkout, Khairy said he would only speak for himself.

Whether his decision to remain put in the dewan would be seen as an act of rebel and cost him his position in the party, Khairy said: “That I'm not sure. I did what I felt was right.”

The two other Umno MPs not to walk out of the Dewan Rakyat were Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Datuk Rozman Isli.

Commenting on the Umno trios, former party president Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said it was up to the party to decide on what action to be taken on them.

“I leave it to the party to whatever decision, whatever views. Probably they should explain to some extent why they did what they did,” he said.

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