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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Serambi Taiwan

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The brawls that erupt from time to time in the Taiwan Parliament (or Legislative Yuan) are legendary. Now, it seems, you don't have to travel that far anymore... Via YouTube:

Northeastern Peninsular Malaysia's state of Kelantan has long been calling themselves Serambi Mekah (loosely translated, Mecca's Verandah). Well, now they have an additional monicker...

Apparently, the near brawl in the assembly that day is a culmination of what BN's representatives call an "unfair handling" of the Kelantan assembly by its speaker, claiming bias on the part of the state speaker Datuk Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah. Perhaps a taste of their own medicine, seeing how the Parliament's speaker's quite consistently rejects opposition motions.

For context, you can read reports from The Star, here (on the near-brawl) and here (on an earlier BN walkout over the suspension of BN assemblyman Datuk Nozula Mat Diah [BN–Paloh]).
(Legislative Yuan wannabes, and the real thing, in the full post)

BN being BN, of course, breaking ranks over anything is heavily frowned upon. Even if your BN colleague throws tantrums and almost starts a brawl - in the state assembly. So, on the last day of the current seating, 17 other BN assemblymen pretty much boycotted the proceedings. This has subsequently been followed by the BN assemblymen filing a report with the ACA, alledging abuse by the Kelantan government over the past 4 years. The plot thickens...

But of course, when it comes to complete chaos in the legislature, nothing beats the brawls that break out in the Taiwan Legislative Yuan. A sort of "best of" was uploaded to YouTube (originally from The Rick Mercer Report on Canadian TV).

Well, thus far, Malaysian Parliament has seen some pretty fierce tongue-wagging, but nothing physical. So, was the Kelantan Assembly almost-brawl just an unfortunate one-off, or the start of a new trend in Malaysian legislative houses? If for no other reason, brawls in parliament and state assemblies are great for TV ratings, if these should ever get broadcast in the near future...

It's been claimed that Malaysians at large are not mature enough to handle live legislative broadcasts, like in more advanced countries... but by the looks of it, of late, it's becoming apparent that it's probably be the politicians themselves that are not ready to behave like adults and carry themselves with more decorum, like their counterparts elsewhere in most parts of the world.

Ok, with the notable exception of Taiwan, maybe... and now Taiwan's new "serambi"...