Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reporters Barred From Parliament Lobby, Boycotted Press Conferences - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 (Bernama) -- For the first time in Parliament's history, reporters were barred from the Parliament lobby Tuesday.

To counter the move, members of the media showed their solidarity by boycotting all press conferences held at Parliament, include those by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

The media personnel took such a bold step to express their unhappiness at the "unfriendly ruling" by Parliament's management.

As a result, two press conferences by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and one by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were only covered by the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), Radio Televisyen Malaysia, TV3, Berita Harian and foreign wires personnel.

The media representatives, who were covering the second day meeting of the second meeting of the first session of the 12th Parliament, were informed that they would only be allowed to be at one corner of the lobby which has been designated for news conferences.

No statement was issued by Parliament's administration on this new ruling earlier, nor was the any verbal instructions. Only barriers were put up with signages stating that reporters were not allowed to be in the areas.

The only statement received by the media from the Parliament administration was on Friday to inform of a new ruling limiting only five reporters from each media organisations to cover Parliament proceedings due to security reasons.

Several member of Parliaments, from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and also opposition, who symphatised with the media tried to get Parliament to withdraw the ban but failed.

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Najib: SAPP's fate in hands of Barisan supreme council - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Barisan Nasional supreme council will determine the action to be taken against rebel party Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Tuesday.

The deputy prime minister said that the Barisan Nasional's management committee, which met yesterday, had come up with several recommendations for the council on the action to be taken against the SAPP.

Najib declined to say what the recommendations were.

“I cannot announce them. They are specific recommendations. We will submit them to the supreme council soon,” he told reporters after chairing the committee meeting at Parliament House. Representatives of all Barisan component parties, except SAPP, which was not invited, attended the meeting.

Najib, who is Barisan deputy chairman, said the committee also decided that the Government should give serious attention and priority to problems involving the people’s interests, including in Sabah and Sarawak.

“Any issue involving the people’s interests in Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia should be given serious attention so that the people have confidence in Barisan,” he said.

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Two Sabah MPs recalled home after 'threats' - The Star

By Muguntan Vanar

KOTA KINABALU: The two MPs of the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) have been recalled home to Sabah for security reasons, said party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

He claimed that the two MPs – Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) – had been threatened by certain quarters over SAPP’s decision to support a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister.

The two MPs, who were in Kuala Lumpur to attend the Parliament meeting which began yesterday, were told to return immediately.

“In view of this disturbing turn of events, SAPP has taken extra precautions for the safety of the MPs by calling them back to the party headquarters for consultations on the next course of action, including the safety of their persons, families and the security of their offices,” Yong said.

He said that ever since SAPP announced the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister on June 18, the SAPP had been advised by “friendly parties not to underestimate the risky consequences and likely threats to SAPP and its leaders.”

“Events in the last 24 hours have taken a disturbing turn. Among others, we have received reports of intimidation and bullying (against us),” he said.

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