Monday, 24 June 2013

Speaker’s appointment 'unconstitutional'

Former Sabah BN leader Pandikar Amin Mulia has been appointed again as speaker of the Dewan Rakyat after a vote among members of parliament today.

Pandikar defeated Pakatan Rakyat’s nominee Abdul Kadir Sulaiman, polling 133 votes against 89 as required under Standing Order 4(3), when more than one name is nominated.

However, PAS's Sepang member of parliament and the party's veteran legal advisor said Pandikar’s appointment was unconstitutional.

According to Hanipa Maidin, the requirement that MPs write their names on the ballot papers during the voting process violated Standing Order 4(4), which calls for secret ballot.

“Together with a few MPs from PR, I stood up in protest at the parliament secretary because the process of electing the Speaker was not conducted through guaranteed ballot secrecy,” Hanipa told Harakahdaily.

Hanipa (left) said the manner in which parliamentary rules had been compromised to appoint the Speaker was not much different from how the Election Commission violated electoral laws in the indelible ink fiasco during the recent general election.

PAS vice president and Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar meanwhile questioned the need to jot down one's name and signature on the ballot paper.

“Does the prime minister not trust his own MPs?” he asked.

However, BN's Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin shot back at PR for disputing Pandikar’s appointment.

“Pakatan suggests 'neutral' speaker in Parliament [because] they know they don't have numbers. Hence PR stunt. In Selangor, they picked YB Hannah (Yeoh),' he said on Twitter.

PR’s earlier call to appoint PAS’s Tumpat MP Kamaruddin Jaffar as deputy speaker was also dashed. Khairy argued PR had failed to submit its candidate's name within the deadline.

At today's opening of the parliament, Beluran MP Ronald Kiandee and Kuala Krau MP Ismail Mohamed Said were appointed deputy speakers. -HD

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