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Kit Siang’s ‘richest unemployed’ riles up Khairy

The ‘richest unemployed (person) in the world.’

This remark riled up Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) who locked horns with veteran politician Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timor) in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The shouting match started when Khairy interrupted Lim’s debate on the royal address, where the DAP supremo was stressing a point on the government’s anti-corruption fight.

khairy jamaluddin interview 011107 definedKhairy asked Lim whether the other four states under the Pakatan Rakyat rule will follow Penang’s footstep and practise open tender for state projects.

“Are we going to see an uniformity in Perak, Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan as well for an open tender system?” asked the first time MP and son-in-law of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

This led Lim to ask Khairy if he agreed with the Penang state government’s move and a ruckus erupted when the DAP leader took a swipe at the Umno Youth deputy chief.

The backbenchers joined in the fray.

“It seems he (Khairy) agrees and supports (Penang’s move), so we thank you. Whether this will be done in other states, we will discuss but what is most important is the principle of accountability, transparency and good governance.

“Among others we want to know how did a person who has declared himself as unemployed can become the richest unemployed in the world? How an unemployed can sell off his shares in ECM Libra with losses? Unemployed? Where did the money come from?” said Lim.

‘A simple, constructive question’

raja petra court case 060508 lim kit siangAlthough Lim did not mention names, this was an obvious reference to Khairy, who gave up the stake in the investment advisory group two years ago.

The Rembau MP then cited the standing orders to defend himself. He however appeared calm and composed in rebutting Lim.

Khairy: Standing order 36 (9) states that no reference shall be made in any debate to the conduct or character of any MP other than the conduct in the capacity of MP… I ask a question which can be easily answered but I’m dragged into a question which is out of my conduct as a MP.

Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee: The standing order applies, we shall move on to another topic.

Lim: He is indeed the richest unemployed!

Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping): Isn’t this is a case of siapa makan cili, siapa rasa pedas (the person who did wrong feels guilty)

Khairy: Ipoh Timor continues having the same attitude … I was only asking a constructive question, a simple question…

Deputy speaker: You can’t debate on a MP’s conduct (outside the House).

Lim: This is not about the conduct, this is someone who is the richest unemployed in the world!

Deputy speaker: Please proceed with other topics.

“Don’t become the richest unemployed then,” replied Lim, ending the shouting match and proceeding with his debate on the royal address.

Is there a division?

Despite being a rookie in Parliament, Khairy repeatedly interjected Lim’s debate since this morning and took on the seasoned politician, stealing much of the limelight in the process.

As Lim moved on to the post-election political scene, Khairy again interjected and questioned whether there was a division among the Pakatan component parties.

Citing Perak as an example, he said Menteri Besar Mohamed Nizar Jamaluddin from PAS has reinstated a state religious top official following the palace’s request, a move which was however questioned by Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) as unconstitutional.

“This (Parliament) is not the fourth floor,” retorted Lim, saying the BN-led state government had also faced a crisis with the palace over the Terengganu menteri besar post after the March 8 polls.

Earlier this morning, the duo had crossed swords over blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin who was charged with sedition today.

Kit Siang’s ‘richest unemployed’ riles up Khairy

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