Speaker wants full control
KUALA LUMPUR (May 5, 2008): Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia opened the sitting today with a stern reminder that he will not entertain any calls to raise the points under the Standing Order, except if they meant to contribute towards ensuring the smooth running of the House.
Learning from experience on the first day last week, he said he would not give way if the MPs raise points of order with the intention to interrupt proceedings.
“I will only decide on the points of order raised at the end of the Question Time,” he said, much to the disgust of Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) who said this was not right according to his experience 26 years as an MP.
Pandikar Amin reiterated what seemed to be his favourite phrase that the Speaker’s decision is final and Karpal Singh can form his own opinion but he (Pandikar Amin) also is entitled to apply his own discretion which no one could argue as he is the Speaker.
He even asked Karpal Singh to read out loud what is contained under Article 43 of the Standing Order, which said Speaker’s decision is final, to check whether he (Karpal Singh) understands what it means.
Karpal Singh retorted by saying: “Don’t be a dictator. Such a ruling is not acceptable.”
Pandikar Amin then asked Dewan Rakyat secretary Rosmee Hamzah to continue with question time and she stood up accordingly and called for the question time to begin.
However, Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP-Beruas) then stood up, raising another point of order, saying the Speaker is responsible for the observance of the rule but it becomes a problem when the Speaker himself does not follow the rule.
Pandikar Amin then stressed no one should speak while the Speaker is talking and again asked Rosmee to continue with question time.
Finally, at 10.12am, the first question was posed by Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PKR-Machang) to Energy, Water and Communications Minister.
And, at 11.30am, after eight questions were posed and answered and before the session opened for debate on the motion of thanks to the Royal Address by Opposition leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Pandikar Amin praised the Lord saying: “Alhamdulillah, the question time has ended without much chaos like what happened last Wednesday (April 30).”