Opposition MPs to sit as a group

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 22 Jun 2013

Full rehearsal for upcoming opening of 13th Parliament Session kn next tuesday.

KUALA LUMPUR: The opposition seating in the Dewan Rakyat will see a major shake-up with lawmakers from the DAP, PAS and PKR sitting side-by-side.

Previously, Opposition MPs were seated according to their respective parties.

The Opposition had requested for the new arrangement, Dewan Rakyat secretary Datuk Roosme Hamzah told reporters at a media briefing here yesterday ahead of the 13th Parliament sitting.

However, she said the front row would be filled by senior MPs from the respective parties, with Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim seated closest to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

“The three parties struck a compromise and wanted a seating combination based on the seniority of party leaders,” she said.

Roosme said there would be no changes in the Barisan Nasional bloc.

The Opposition has 89 MPs in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat, while the Barisan has 133 seats.

They will be sworn-in on Monday.

Roosme said 87 first-time MPs will take their oath, comprising 45 from Barisan and 42 from the Opposition.

She said 124 MPs were re-elected while 11 were former MPs who made a comeback.

“It is expected to be a lively and interesting Dewan Rakyat meeting, especially during the debates, as the MPs come from various backgrounds and professions.

“Some are doctors while others are from the corporate world,” she said, hoping the new MPs would be able to adapt to the procedures of the august House and abide by its rules.

Roosme said the core business of the Dewan Rakyat until July 10 would be the debate on the motion of thanks for the Royal address.

She said among the Bills that would tabled in the coming session is the Supplementary Supply Bill and another Bill to re-allocate expenses due to changes in the Cabinet.

On the appointment of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, she said more than one candidate has been nominated for the post. She declined to elaborate.

Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia was the Dewan Rakyat Speaker in the previous parliamentary term and is expected to be re-nominated to the post.

The Opposition has named former Federal Court judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman as their nominee.

Meanwhile, Gelang Patah MP and DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said the Opposition’s request for changes in the seat arrangement was to show a more coherent and effective Opposition.

“We stood during the election as a group and we want to sit in Parliament as one,” he said.

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