KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Umno’s Khairy Jamaluddin said today he disagreed with his Opposition colleagues for walking out of the Dewan Rakyat during the swearing-in ceremony of its Speaker.

The Rembau MP was one of the few Barisan Nasional lawmakers who stayed put in the lower House.

He explained that while he shared the frustrations of his fellow Opposition colleagues, a walkout “is not the way to protest”.

“It is better to respect the ceremony and not do anything that can tarnish the BN image,” he said, stressing that his decision not to join the walkout was a personal one. 

“I can only speak for myself,” he stressed, despite there being at least two other BN lawmakers who did not join the walkout protest. 

The former Umno Youth chief who launched an unsuccessful bid to be the party’s president last month also said that there were more appropriate times to contest the government’s action.

He said this should at least be after the opening ceremony tomorrow, possibly by raising a point of order during the Wednesday sitting.

“I did what I think is right to respect the House,” he added.

Khairy cut a forlorn figure earlier, sitting alone in the Opposition bench after nearly all abandoned the Dewan Rakyat in protest over the government’s alleged failure to provide 14 days’ notice of Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof’s nomination.