Friday, August 19, 2011

Malaysiakini - Pakatan: BN will 'run over us' in polls panel

Aidila Razak
Aug 18, 11

Pakatan Rakyat MPs today decried the proposed composition of the parliamentary select committee on electoral reform, saying it would make Pakatan committee members lame ducks.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, they said this was especially so with the inclusion of a member of the BN-friendly Independent bloc.

"How is Pakatan supposed to vote in this committee?

"With five BN MPs, a BN minister as chairperson and an independent MP, who we know will be pro-BN, Pakatan will be outnumbered seven to three," said PKR-Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh.

NONEFuziah (left) said the composition announced yesterday by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz did not adhere to the provisions for the formation of a select committee.

"The provision states that the members must be proportionate to the composition of Parliament.

"Independent MPs make up nine of the 222 members.

"They should not be on the select committee," the PKR vice-president added.

Agreeing with her, DAP-Rasah MP Anthony Loke said Independent MPs have no space on the committee as none of them had been voted in as Independents.

"They were all voted in on Pakatan tickets and have since formed an independent bloc, so in fact, there is no real Independent MP," Loke said.

The DAP Youth chief added that the inclusion of an independent MP was a "political move" by BN "so that it will have more say in deciding certain agenda... knowing the MPs' inclination".

'Talk to us first'

The manner in which the composition and terms of reference of the select committee have been decided also suggest that the BN was trying to run over the opposition on the matter, noted PAS-Kubang Kerian MP Salahuddin Ayub.

"I am disappointed that it has been one-way communication from the minister, without consultation with other political parties on the terms of reference and composition...what can we hope to achieve if this is how they plan to run it?" Salahuddin (below) asked.

NONEHe said there was still time for Prime Minister najib Abdul Razak to invite political parties for a consultation before the committee was formed in Parliament on Oct 3.

"Most importantly, we would like him to give a guarantee that he will not call snap polls before the committee's work is completed," Salahuddin said.

The PAS vice-president also said that a government with strong political will to carry out electoral reforms would have formed a Royal Commission of Inquiry instead, as it had "more weight and credibility" in dealing with such a serious issue, compared with a parliamentary select committee.

Pakatan unlikely to boycott

However, the MPs said it was unlikely Pakatan would boycott the parliamentary select committee as such a move will only backfire.

"If we don't participate, (BN) will say that we are sore (losers), so we have to participate... but we will also have to make a lot of noise about it," said Fuziah.

Meanwhile, deputy prime minister advised Pakatan leaders not to be prejudiced towards the proposed select committee, especially in terms of its composition.

According to Bernama, Muhyiddin Yassin said they should regard the formation of the committee as a bold effort by the government.

"Its composition will be raised and tabled during the coming Parliament session. What's important to us is the prime minister's sincerity in accepting the proposal.

"Stop making assumptions and use this opportunity as a platform to discuss matters," he told reporters after attending a Royal Malaysia Police appreciation function at the RMP College in Cheras.

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