KUALA LUMPUR: MPs should just stick to the Standing Orders in their debate – this is the advice by new Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.
Speaking to reporters just a few days before Parliament convenes on Monday, Pandikar Amin said:
“They should know what to do. As long as they do it within the Standing Orders, they will be happy and I will be happy.”
He had taken part in a rehearsal at the Parliament House yesterday, for the second sitting of the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday when the Yang di-Pertuan Agung Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin will declare both houses of Parliament open.
MPs and senators will be present when the King delivers his speech.
Rehearsal for Monday's first sitting – where the new Speaker is to be sworn in, the 222 MPs to take their oaths and two deputy speakers to be elected – had taken place on April 16.
Pandikar Amin said it was a good change for him to return to Dewan Rakyat as Speaker.
He was Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department after being appointed senator in 1999.
Asked if he was prepared to handle 82 opposition MPs this time round, he said: “As long as they stay within the Standing Orders, I don’t think it will be rowdy.”
Also present were the two candidates in the running for the two deputy speaker posts, Beluran MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee and Santubong MP Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. DAP’s Dr Tan Seng Giaw, the other candidate, was not present.
Ronald said he received a fax from Parliament on Wednesday informing him to attend yesterday's function while Dr Wan Junaidi said he was told about it last week.
Outgoing Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said it “offends all sense of propriety and decorum” for the two to attend the rehearsal prior to the election of deputy speakers.
Dr Tan, when contacted, said he was not aware of the rehearsal, adding that he was not informed about it.
He, however, was still hopeful that he could get the post, despite fighting an uphill battle.
With 82 opposition MPs facing 140 Barisan MPs, Dr Tan is likely to poll only 82 votes when the election of the deputy speakers is held on Monday.
“All I need is 30 more votes and I will win. Don’t you think with a larger number of opposition MPs in the Dewan Rakyat now, one deputy speaker should be from the opposition?” asked Dr Tan, a seventh-term MP from Kepong.
It would be interesting to see how the voting – to be cast by secret ballot - would go with claims of crossovers so intense now.
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