'Opposition' no more, it's now called 'balancing force' in Johor assembly

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Johor state assembly will officially stop using the term “Opposition” to describe assemblymen who are not in the ruling coalition.

State Speaker Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said this was in line with Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s decree for the term to be re-examined when His Majesty opened the current session on Thursday (March 16).

“The term 'pihak pengimbang' (balancing force) will be adopted and YB Machap (Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi) had started using it yesterday (in his speech).

“This term is more wholesome, accurate, comprehensive and forward-looking,” he said during the beginning of the assembly sitting in Kota Iskandar here on Monday (March 20).

Mohd Puad added the usage of the new term would create a more balanced assembly.

When opening the second term of the 15th state assembly sitting on March 16, Sultan Ibrahim decreed that in place of “pihak pembangkang”, the term “pihak pengimbang” should be considered, where he added that the term “opposition” may no longer serve its purpose.

His Majesty said this was because its role was more than to merely oppose.

“These assemblymen play the role of checks and balances to ensure the (state) government does not do as it pleases. However, refrain from seeking revenge or being nitpicky.

“I also have no issues with pihak pengimbang – they can seek an audience with me and give their ideas or views,” he said, adding that he wants the stable political situation to continue for the benefit of the people and the state.

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