KUALA LUMPUR — The Home Ministry issued an order for all large trees around the Parliament and State Secretariat buildings to be cut down today, in an apparent response to the Pakatan Rakyat Perak state assemblymen meeting under a raintree yesterday after being locked out of their assembly hall.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said that to avoid further incidents where ‘motions and laws could be passed in inappropriate places’, the order will be carried out by local councils immediately.
“This is getting ridiculous! How can a legislative body meet under a tree to discuss matters of the state, let alone approve things?” said a visibly agitated Syed Hamid. “A tree, for crying out loud! What next? Having parliamentary sessions on a beach? In Hawaiian shirts, perhaps?”
Syed Hamid said that although the Ipoh High Court had deemed the 15-minute emergency assembly, which approved three motions that include having fresh state elections, illegal, the move to cut down large trees within the vicinity of the Parliament and State Secretariat buildings was necessary. “We have to cover all our bases,” he said. “Those Pakatan people are wily folk. They always do things that we don’t expect. So desperate lah.
“So, in line with our policy of ‘zero opposition’, we’re eliminating all possible venues they could embarrass us again.”
The minister then jovially revealed the plan to replace the axed trees, some over a century-old.
“We’ll put in place these top-of-the-line bonzai trees instead!” he said, beaming with pride as he unveiled a foot-high miniature rain tree sprouting out of an ornate pot. “With these, our enemies will never be able to hold any meetings in a place we can’t close down, ever again. They can certainly try — but I doubt all of them can stand squatting under a tree this size for more than 5 minutes. Their legs would fall asleep very quickly, and it would be excruciating trying to get back up later. Believe me, I tried,” he confessed, laughing.
“We have ordered two million bonzai trees from China, and they’ll be planted by the end of the month.”
Asked what steps would be taken should Pakatan assemblymen decide to meet under another structure, such as a lamp post, or a giant canopy, Syed Hamid said, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. But know this: we will not condone it. We would not hesitate to replace such structures with miniaturised versions.
“The only way those fools can still assemble is to miniaturise themselves. And if they do, I’ll make sure they do not get a permit to assemble.”