Monday, March 8, 2010

PR MPs' full and continued support for Anwar Ibrahim as the parliamentary opposition leader

Despite the fact that DAP now has more MPs than PKR , Anwar Ibrahim will continue to be the parliamentary opposition leader as he has the continued support from all PR MPs.

While it is true that the parliamentary opposition leader 's position has often been held by an MP from the opposition party with the largest number of MPs, the parliamentary convention and procedure is that this position will be held by a person who commands the majority support of the opposition MPs.

In fact , Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had on March 5 said that according to the Standing Orders of the House, a person can be made Opposition Leader even if he or she did not belong to the opposition party with the most number of seats – as long as the MP commanded majority support of Opposition MPs.

Section 4A(3) of the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders reads:

“The Leader of the Opposition means, in relation to the House, that member of the House who is presently the Leader of the group in Opposition.”

All PR MPs have expressed their full and continued confidence in Anwar's leadership and support for his continuing as the parliamentary opposition leader.

Hence, for those BN politicians who think that the PR MPs will abandon Anwar Ibrahim as the parliamentary opposition chief, they will be most disappointed.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jama­luddin had said on March 4 that allowing Anwar Ibrahim to stay on as parliamentary opposition leader was an unusual move for Pakatan Rakyat as political convention would dictate that a person from the largest oppositions party should become the opposition leader.

It is obvious that Khairy has to learn more about Parliament's Standing Orders.

Since he has touched on the subject of political convention, is it not appropriate that he should publicly explain why the Prime Minister has not followed Umno's political convention and has not till today appointed him as a minister or at least a deputy minister , by virtue of his position as Umno Youth chief?

May be Khairy is getting impatient about not being made a minister and was trying to use the opposition leader issue to openly remind the Prime Minister about the Umno's political convention.

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