By Saadon Aksah
KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 – Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang indicated that the party is ready to put political differences aside and to work with the government to tackle rising prices of goods and fuel.
Abdul Hadi who is also Marang parliamentary member welcomed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi announcement of a plan to form a multi-party committee to tackle rising prices.
After Hadi posed a supplementary question to an original question on the government’s new approach and plans to improve the public’s quality of life, Abdullah revealed the new plan which would involve participation from the opposition.
Met at the parliamentary lobby afterward, Abdul Hadi however indicated that the government must be sincere and ensured that the committee would not end up halfway as what happened to a similar committee set up during the time of former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad.
“We take a positive stance (towards the announcement),” Abdul Hadi said.
Abdullah said the committee would consist of 30 members but the “format” and the “criteria” had yet to be decided on.
He said academicians, non-governmental organizations and those from the private sectors would be among those invited to be members of the committee.
“The increase in prices of goods (and) petrol, is an important (issue) to all,” he acknowledged.
Big foot vs big monkey
Parliamentarians however failed to grill Abdullah April 30 after parliamentary speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia initially ruled that no supplementary questions would be allowed on the pretext that the house was running out of time.
This prompted former parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang to accuse the speaker of a “conspiracy” with Abdullah to “suppress the voices of the 82 Pakatan Rakyat coalition members”.
“This is the first in the history (of parliament). How could supplementary questions not be allowed?,” protested Lim followed by numerous invocations of “point of orders” from MPs protesting the ruling.
Pandikar Amin who at one time looked exasperated with the numerous “point of order” invoked said the sitting had degraded to “forum of point of orders”. He however did not respond to the accusation hurled by Lim.
Abdullah however offered to answer “one or two questions” but only one supplementary question was allowed. Proceeding yesterday also witnessed one parliamentary member calling another “big foot” with the other retorting by saying that the caller was a “big monkey”.