CM: Amendment needed

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 30 Sep 2003

AN AMENDMENT to the state Constitution yesterday has removed any direct reference to the number of members in the assembly. 

In its place, the composition of the assembly would be determined by the “Composition of Elected Members of The State of Malacca Legislative Assembly Enactment 2003,” which was passed yesterday. 

When tabling the Bill to amend the state Constitution, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam (BN – Paya Rumput) said the amendment was necessary because of the recent redrawing of parliamentary and state constituency boundaries which created three new State Assembly seats. 

The assembly currently has 25 members. 

“The amendment is good because it will remove the need to amend the state Constitution all the time. With a separate enactment, any changes to the number of seats in the assembly can be done easily,” he said. 

He said the state had wanted to increase the number of state seats to six in line with the population increase, but could not do so because of the high cost of having those additional seats. 

In opposing the amendment, Betty Chew (DAP – Durian Daun) claimed the move would dilute the powers of the state Constitution. 

“With this amendment, any change to the composition of the State Assembly will only require a simple majority because the composition of the assembly will now be determined merely by an ordinary enactment,” she said. 

The bill was passed with 18 supporting, one (Chew) opposing with three other DAP members abstaining. 

The assembly also passed the Supplementary Supply Enactment 2003 for a sum of RM24,840,000 for additional expenditure. 

Datuk Wira Poh Ah Tiam (BN – Bukit Sedanan), who tabled the bill, said the expenditure was, among others, for the purchase of the Governor’s RM6mil residence. 

He said the house would be converted into a corporate guest-house which would bring in revenue to the government.  

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