KOTA KINABALU: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has tendered his resignation as Kota Marudu Umno division chief in the interest of neutrality, sources said.
The sources said he sent his resignation letter to party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday but it was not immediately known if the Prime Minister would accept his resignation.
The sources explained that he would, however, remain as an ordinary Umno member.
Sources close to Pandikar Amin said that his decision was aimed at divorcing himself from politics so as to ensure that the office of the Speaker remains neutral and be respected by all parties, both from the Government or Opposition.
It is for the dignity of the House. He does not want to be seen as being an active Umno member holding a division chief's post.
He hopes to emulate the late Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tun Zahir Ismail, who in his 22 years gained respect by staying neutral, away from political positions, one of the sources explained.
Asked about a blog stating that his action may be linked to PKR's efforts to get 30 or so Umno MPs to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat, the sources explained that it was ridiculous and mischievous as his resignation was specifically in the interest of the Dewan Rakyat.
The sources explained that earlier yesterday a group of PKR MPs had paid a courtesy call on Pandikar Amin, where he impressed upon them that he was making every effort to bring respect to the Chair and it included the move by him to resign as Kota Marudu Umno chief.