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Thursday, 5 December 2002
Page: 7223

Senator ABETZ (Special Minister of State) (9:30 AM) —Mr President, I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Leave granted.

Senator ABETZ —Yesterday in question time my attention was drawn to an inclusion in Hansard attributed to me. This has since been repeated in the media. I have checked the Hansard. It is alleged that I said, `Is that Prime Minister Muppeteer?' That term, of course, has no meaning and makes no sense. More importantly, I did not say the word `Muppeteer'; I said `Mahathir'. I understand that the words sound very similar, and in the—to put it politely—active participation of many senators at that stage of question time it is quite understandable how Hansard would have made such a mistake or simply misheard. I have requested Hansard to ensure that their record reports what I actually said. I thank the Senate.