Walkout by BN assemblymen after motion amended

GEORGE TOWN: Nine Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen walked out of the Penang State Assembly sitting today after a motion by one of them was amended.

The motion tabled by Datuk Dr Muhamad Farid Saad (BN-Pulau Betong) among others, asked for all hillslope development in the state to be stopped with immediate effect until the developers submit drainage and slope reinforcement plans.

However, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon (PKR-Pulau Jerejak) then suggested several amendments to the motion including calling for the state government and federal government to set up a joint committee to tackle climate change.

This got "ayes" from the backbenchers prior to debate.

Dissatisfied, Muhamad Farid stood up to object to the changes, following which a war of words broke out across the aisle.

This led to the walk out by the nine, but subsequently the motion was debated and passed.

At a press conference later, Muhamad Farid accused the DAP-led Penang government of using its majority in the house to drown out the voice of the minority.

His sentiments were echoed by opposition leader Datuk Jahara Hamid who said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and the Pakatan Harapan were only paying lip service to their Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) slogan.

Penang has witnessed a spate of natural disasters this year. In October a massive landslide at a hillslope project in Tanjung Bungah claimed 11 lives, while the state's worst ever flood disaster last week left seven people dead.

The state's Budget for 2018 was passed at this sitting which began on Nov 2. — Bernama