GEORGE TOWN: All 11 opposition Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen walked out for the second time in two days after their motion to debate Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's alleged racial slur against Umno was denied by Speaker Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain yesterday.
Opposition leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim (BN-Penaga), who led the protest, said reports would be lodged with the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission against Lim today for the alleged affront, and the State Legislative Assembly for allegedly manipulating the Hansard on the chief minister's statement.
"We all heard Lim make the statement about us and Hindu temples yesterday, but today, he denies using the word 'demolish'," he said.
"This is the reason we wanted to invoke Guideline 38/4 of the House Standing Order which calls for an urgent debate to deliberate this highly sensitive issue, but even the speaker is no different."
During an altercation between Lim and Penang Port Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Dr Seri Hilmi Yahaya (BN-Teluk Bahang) on Monday over the Sri Muniswaran temple demolition by the port operator, the chief minister allegedly uttered: "Sekiranya Umno kembali berkuasa, saya rasa semua kuil Hindu terancam (If Umno returns to power, I feel all Hindu temples will be threatened)".
The speaker, however, subsequently replayed a video recording on the two-minute spat to reporters which showed Lim did not say the word 'demolish'.
Azhar said it did not matter what Lim said now because everyone had clearly heard his use of the word 'demolish', which he described as "a word that dangerously alters the context of the statement".
He said there was no excuse for the Opposition to remain in the hall when it bore no resemblance of democracy and truth following Lim's alleged lie and assembly's manipulation of the Hansard.
"We don't see why we must sit in the same room where the CM is a liar and the speaker works in cohort with him. Our constituents trust us to uphold their rights and that is exactly what we are doing," he said.
Asked if they did not mind forsaking their debate on the motion of thanks to the Yang di-Pertua Negeri's speech, Azhar said: "That is all right. I am aware there are eight of us who have yet to speak, but we cannot do it in a house where the CM lies.
"The verbatim recording is not out but it can be manipulated. We are very, very sure that the recording has been manipulated. We want to get to the bottom of this, hence, the reports with the authorities."
The walkout happened barely half hour after assembly convened yesterday morning following Datuk Jasmin Mohamed's (BN-Sungai Dua) call to move a motion to debate Lim's statement yesterday.
It sparked a fiery exchange between Pakatan Rakyat and BN backbenchers, culminating in the walkout, which would see all 11 opposition assemblymen boycotting the remaining proceedings of the current meeting.