A BACKBENCHER held the rapt attention of members of the House and occasionally drew laughter despite speaking for over an hour.
Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia (BN Tempasuk) started his speech by pointing out that members of the House had been playing musical chairs between the last assembly and the current one.
He said Dr Yee Moh Chai (BN Api Api), previously a backbencher seated in the very seat he currently occupied, was now the Resource Development and Information Technology Minister, sitting on the opposite side.
Most assemblymen yearn to sit on that side (pointing to the Ministers bench) and more so on that one (pointing to the seat of Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman), currently occupied by the Sungai Sibuga assemblyman, he said amid table-thumping and laughter.
On a more serious note, Pandikar Amin called for an equitable distribution of funds to ensure that no single area was heavily developed while others remained backward.
Citing an example, he said Kudat experienced rapid development during Tanjung Kapor assemblyman and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Chong Kah Kiats two-year term as chief minister from 2001 to 2003.
Does one have to be a chief minister before his constituency can be developed? he asked.
Like other ordinary assemblymen, he added, it was hard for him to fulfil the development requests of his constituents.
Pandikar Amin said members of the House were only provided RM250,000 a year for this purpose but villagers in his Tempasuk seat were pressing for the surfacing of a road which would cost about RM40mil.