(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The Parliament Speaker, Tun Mohamad Zahir Ismail said
yesterday that there is no time frame for opposition members to appoint a new
Opposition Leader to replace PAS president Datuk Fadzil Noor who died Sunday.
He said the announcement of the new Opposition Leader would probably be made at the next Dewan Rakyat budget meeting from 9th September to 12th November as the current meeting would end on Thursday.
no reason why the new Opposition Leader could not be formally appointed and
announced in Parliament latest by Thursday, or it would reflect adversely on the
Speaker, Parliament as well as the Opposition MPs that the position could not be
filled before the end of the parliamentary meeting on Thursday although Fadzil
passed away on Sunday.
Malaysiakini yesterday reported Zahir as saying that the
Opposition Leader “may not necessarily be a member of the party with the
biggest majority”, adding that I was the Opposition Leader in 1995 “although
PAS had the most members in the House”. Zahir claimed that PAS “offered”
the post to me as “they
were courting each other then”.
not only suffering from faulty memory, he is showing a bias against DAP which is
most improper and unwarranted for a Speaker of Parliament, who should rise above
political party controversies – although such a bias may have stemmed from
adverse national and international reactions to his unparliamentary mishandling
of the Fong Po Kuan issue where the young woman DAP MP for Batu Gajah was
arbitrarily and unjustly suspended as MP for six months without parliamentary
allowance for trying to speak up in Parliament against the injustices of the
Certificate in Legal Practice examinations scandal.
the record straight, and to refresh Zahir’s memory, DAP had the most number of
opposition MPs in the 1995 general election, although we did not have a clear
majority of the total number of Opposition MPs.
Nine DAP MPs, eight PBS MPs, seven PAS MPs and six Semangat 46 MPs were
elected in the 1995 general election.
PAS did not “offer” the post of Opposition Leader to the DAP and Zahir’s
statement that “they were courting each other then” was baseless and pure
figment of his imagination.
actual fact, in 1995, PAS made a bid for the post of Opposition Leader although
it had fewer MPs than the DAP.
June 1995, New Straits Times reported the PAS President, Fadhil Noor’s
nomination of PAS MP for Marang Abdul Hadi Awang for the post of Opposition
Leader, on the ground that the Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (APU) comprising PAS and
Semangat 46 had a total of 13 seats out of the total of 30 Opposition MPs.
event, PBS supported the party with the largest number of seats for the
Opposition Leader while Semangat 46 took a neutral position.
faulty memory and his irrational bias against the DAP raise the question whether
he should continue or resign as Speaker of Parliament.