Speaker Appointment via Letter Ballots Proves PM Does not Believe his own MPs


KUALA LUMPUR, June 24: Today, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders questioned the voting process for the President (Speaker) of the House of Representatives via ‘letter ballots’ which allegedly does not give freedom to members of the House to make a choice.

The letter ballot works by having every member of the House of Representatives write down their candidate choice for Speaker and their own name, and sign the ballot papers before submission to the Parliamentary Secretary, Rosmee Hamzah.

Pokok Sena Member of Parliament, Datuk Mahfuz Omar was among the first to dispute the voting method before being supported by other PR leaders, including Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) and Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong).

“Why do they need signatures? Does the Prime Minister not trust in BN’s own Parliamentary members?” Mahfuz, the PAS Vice-President, sarcastically said.

Earlier, the Parliamentary Secretary announced two candidates put forward respectively by PR and Barisan Nasional (BN).

PR, via the MP for Bandar Tun Razak, tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, suggested the former Federal Court Judge, Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman, while BN, through the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak suggested Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia for the position of Speaker.

However, the poll results were in favour of Pandikar Amin with the total of 133 votes while Abdul Kadir would receive 89 votes.

The decision this maintains Pandikar Amin as the Speaker for the House of Representatives for the second term after being officially appointed on 28 April 2008.

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