Speakers says ‘sorry’ after giving Najib more time to explain 1mdb remarkss

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KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun has apologised for not considering the consequences of giving former prime minister Najib Razak more time to explain himself over his controversial remarks about 1MDB last week.

Several MPs had alleged on March 2 that Najib misled the Dewan Rakyat over the issue of 1MDB’s debts.

This led to Azhar asking Najib on Monday to explain himself to the House by today.

However, Najib said yesterday he could not do so as he was in Johor to campaign for Barisan Nasional candidates in the state elections. He said he could only explain himself after Saturday’s polls.

Azhar told the Dewan Rakyat today that Najib had written to him asking for an extension until next Wednesday, and that he had instead given him until next Tuesday.

Moments later, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim stated that not only did Azhar’s decision set a dangerous precedent by implying that politics seemed to take precedence over parliamentary matters, it also seemed to belittle Parliament’s status.

“If I have a PKR Port Dickson meeting, can Tan Sri Speaker consider that as an excuse?” asked the Port Dickson MP.

Azhar replied: “I take note and am thankful for your reminder to me.

“With the benefit of hindsight, I did not take that into consideration before I made the decision.

“Moving forward, I will surely take this into consideration. I apologise, YB.”

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