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May 27, 2008

Umno MP Tajuddin's shock move to oust minister

malaysiainsider - Something rare happened in Parliament today. A Barisan Nasional MP asked the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to drop a minister from his Cabinet, barely three months after the general election.

The proposer was Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and his target was de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, the prominent lawyer who has incurred the wrath of some Umno politicians for pushing the envelope on judicial reforms.

Today’s outburst by Tajuddin was a continuation of a spat which began on Thursday when Zaid was giving the House an update on the Judicial Appointments Commission and other reforms in the judiciary. The minister was interrupted by BN backbencher Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir who sarcastically congratulated him for doing the biding of the Opposition. A few other Umno MPs joined in and heckled Zaid, including Tajudin.

The next day, the minister said that Umno and the Barisan Nasional need to take stern action against their members and MPs who openly criticise government policies and the prime minister. His comments were carried in several newspapers and this caught the attention of Tajudin.

Hitting back, he said that Abdullah should "reconsider" Zaid’s appointment as a minister in the Prime Minister's Department. His offence: running down MPs.

Zaid should also apologise to himself and Mukhriz and retract statements in the newspaper.

He denied that he had made statements which were insulting to the prime minister or which were against government's policy. All he offered was a frank view on the government’s plan to set up a judicial commission.

"I don't understand how it can be misconstrued as going against the prime minister. I am very upset with such an irresponsible statement from Zaid. It does not reflect the standing of an executive," Tajuddin said.... selanjutnya.


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