Malaysiakini journalists did not sign the petition.
A covering letter to the petition, addressed to the Speaker and law minister Nazri Aziz, was signed by Roslan Bian of the Umno-linked web site Agenda Daily, as representing the co-signatories.
It asked the Speaker, Pandikar Amin Mulia, and Nazri, as minister for parliamentary affairs, to allow only members of parliament and ministers to hold press conferences at the lobby. “Outsiders should not be allowed to hold press conferences at the lobby even though accompanied by MPs as at present,” it said.
Earlier today, the Speaker announced that only MPs and ministers would be allowed the use of parliamentary facilities for press conferences. But the speaker said he had considered the matter for some time, and the petition had no bearing on his decision.
The petition questioned the locus standi of those using facilities that had been set aside for use of members of Parliament and ministers.
Those conducting such press conferences were sometimes accompanied by large groups, the press conferences went on for lengthy periods and concerned matters unconnected to parliamentary proceedings.
They disrupted the work of the parliamentary press corps, it said, especially by the number of press conferences held. The petition said the task of the parliamentary press corps was to cover proceedings of the house as well as attend press conferences of MPs and ministers.
Signatories to the petition included staff of ABN Xcess, Agenda Daily, Antara Pos, Astro Awani, Berita Harian, Bernama, Bernama TV, China Press, Free Malaysia Today, Guang Ming Daily, Harakah Daily, KL Pos, Kwong Wah Jit Poh, Laksou.com, M Star, Malay Mail, Malaysian Digest, Malaysian Insider, Nanyang Siang Pau, NTV7, Oriental Daily, Radio-TV Malaysia, Sin Chew Daily, Sinar Harian, Suara Keadilan, The Star, The Sun, TV Selangor, TV3, Umno Online, and Utusan Malaysia.
(An editor at Astro Awani later said no staff member signed the petition: the signatory was a stringer.)