Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bloodshed in Parliament

Taken From From Forwarded Mail & Media

http://www.malaysia news/69734
Bloodshed in Parliament
Yoges Palaniappan
Jul 10, 07 4:46pm

There was mass slaughtering on the Parliament grounds today and several MPs saw red, both literally and figuratively, over the incident. Those responsible, the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BBC), claimed that it was done with good intentions but some of their peers begged to differ.
Under tents set up at the motorcycle parking zone, six cows and 10 goats were slaughtered for a dinner function tonight. The dinner, scheduled to take place at the Parliament's banquet hall, is to celebrate Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's marriage to Jeanne Abdullah
last month.

In the Dewan Rakyat, opposition MPs aired their disapproval over the bloodshed and accused their BN counterparts of ignoring the sensitivity of other religions. "This is the first time such an incident has happened in Parliament. Furthermore, cows are sacred to Hindus," lamented M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat).

However, Speaker Ramli Ngah Talib reasoned that "it (slaughtering) is a common practice and not unusual during dinners."

Following this, Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) said she was shocked when she saw the animals being brought into the Parliament grounds in a truck. "If it a common practice, will it be acceptable for other MPs to slaughter 'other' animals here?" she asked. Kulasegaran then urged the Speaker not to allow such an incident to recur and Ramli promised to look into it.

BBC chief grilled
Meanwhile, BBC chairperson Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN-Larut) explained that the dinner was organised with good intentions and BBC never meant to hurt anyone.

"This is first time that a PM has married. In fact this is history and we are celebrating the wedding," he said, adding that the meat would also be given as alms to nearby mosques.

"We did it with noble intentions," he said, adding that prior approval was obtained from Parliament officials to carry out the slaughter.

"We are parliamentarians. Where else can we organise the dinner if not in Parliament? Is it wrong? This is a simple issue, I hope the media will not make it a big issue," he said. Raja Ahmad, who appeared calm in the beginning became visibly agitated when journalists pounded him with questions as to why the slaughtering could not have been done elsewhere.
The BBC chairperson then shot back at the journalists, chiding them for not fixing an appointment with his secretary before meeting him and for not getting his permission to enter his office. Ahmad then tried to justify the incident by saying that slaughtering of cows and goats happened everywhere, including government offices.

This lead a journalist to respond: "I believe it is not so. Once they slaughtered cattle on a school ground in Selangor but parents wrote in to object and it was not repeated ever since." Ahmad just shook his head and refused to comment on this.

In a related development, BBC member K Devamany (BN-Cameron Highlands) gave his assurance that such incidents would not happen again. "I was not at the meeting when the dinner was planned, and I got to know about it only a few days ago. Although we cannot undo what has already been done, we can abstain from doing it in future," he said.

More than 1,000 people, including Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, cabinet ministers and MPs from both BN and the opposition, are expected to attend the dinner.

The Sun version: Slaughter of animals in august place riles MPs

KUALA LUMPUR (July 10, 2007): A decision by backbenchers to slaughter six head of cattle and 10 goats in the compound of Parliament House to celebrate Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad's marriage annoyed other MPs.

"I am objecting to this on two grounds. This is Parliament. How can we allow the slaughter of animals in the compound? Should this not be done in an abattoir?" M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) asked Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib just after question time. "Morever, this slaugher of cattle is sensitive to Hindus. Surely you should have thought about this aspect before allowing it."
Ramli's response was that the animals were slaughtered for the kenduri hosted by the Backbenchers Club (BBC) to celebrate the marriage of Abdullah to Jeanne.

When Kulasegaran said he was aware of the reason but that the slaughter should not be allowed, Ramli said any similar request in the future would be looked at carefully. "I don't see why there should be any objection to this. This is norm (slaughter animals) whenever there is a kenduri. Therefore, it is not an unusual practice," Ramli said.

Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) begged to differ. "This is an august place. We use this place for meetings. If next time, the Opposition wants to slaughter other animals then what happens?" she asked. "Even though it is a norm by BBC, it does not mean it is correct. And it should not be continued."

Fong said non-Muslim MPs are sensitive to the religious beliefs of others that they were "even careful with the type of food they brought into the parliament building". She said this should be reciprocated. Ramli brought the discussion to a close by promising that the House would be careful in similar requests in the future.

Acting BNBBC chairman Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN-Larut) told reporters in the lobby of the Dewan Rakyat that the backbenchers decided on the kenduri after he was given the go-ahead by the parliament administration.

"We only did it after the House gave us permission. The place was decided by the parliament," he said. "Where else are we supposed to do it anyway? We are members of Parliament, we are entitled to do it here," he declared.

A Hindu BNBBC committee member S.K.Devamany (BN-Cameron Highlands), met in the lobby said he did not know of the planned slaughter. "I was not at the meeting when it was decided. By the time I came to know of it. All the arrangements were put in place." Devamany vowed to ensure that in future it will not happen again.

My Comment: Malaysia BOLEH .... Another record for Guiness perhaps?

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