BN se­na­tors: We will not re­sign

We won’t op­pose laws that are good for the peo­ple, says se­nior mem­ber

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By ED­DIE CHUA ed­diechua@thes­tar.com.my

PETAL­ING JAYA: The 54 Barisan Na­sional se­na­tors will not re­sign from De­wan Ne­gara now that Pakatan Hara­pan has formed the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

A se­nior se­na­tor said there was no need for them to re­sign be­cause it was not a re­quire­ment when a new gov­ern­ment had been formed.

“There is no such law. As such, there is no need for us to go. We were ap­pointed by the Yang di-Per­tuan Agong, un­like De­wan Rakyat, where the rep­re­sen­ta­tives are voted in by the peo­ple,” he said.

The se­na­tor, who de­clined to be named, said all of them would serve their term.

“Why does the new Gov­ern­ment need to worry about us? Our role is to re­view leg­is­la­tion that has been passed by the lower house.

“If Pakatan is chang­ing the law or mak­ing amend­ments to ben­e­fit the peo­ple, like GST, why should we op­pose or de­lay pass­ing it?

“We would not be a threat to the Gov­ern­ment nor would we want to sab­o­tage the new ad­min­is­tra­tion. Our role is purely to see a check and bal­ance in the Gov­ern­ment,” he said.

He added that even if De­wan Ne­gara de­clined to en­dorse a new law or ap­prove any amend­ment made by De­wan Rakyat, the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion would make its way back to Par­lia­ment.

“From there, it can be sub­mit­ted straight to the Yang Di-Per­tuan Agong for en­dorse­ment. This will by­pass the up­per house but the time taken for the leg­is­la­tion to be en­forced or passed would take a bit longer,” he said.

Cur­rently, Barisan has 54 se­na­tors, 19 of whom were ap­pointed at the rec­om­men­da­tion of dif­fer­ent state as­sem­blies while the re­main­ing mem­bers were picked by the pre­vi­ous Barisan ad­min­is­tra­tion.

There are 30 Umno se­na­tors, 10 from MCA and six from MIC.

Sarawak-based Parti Pe­saka Bu­mi­put­era Ber­satu has two, while Ger­akan, the Lib­eral Demo­cratic Party, United Sabah Party, Peo­ple’s Pro­gres­sive Party, Sarawak United Peo­ple’s Party and United Pa­sok­mo­mo­gun Kadazan­dusun Mu­rut Or­gan­i­sa­tion have one each.

Se­na­tor­ship is for a three-year pe­riod and the same individual may be ap­pointed for two terms only.

The term is not af­fected by dis­so­lu­tion of the De­wan Rakyat.

Each se­na­tor draws a monthly salary of RM11,000. Many of the 54 are ei­ther mid­way through their term or were ap­pointed about six months ago.

There are 66 se­na­tors serv­ing the De­wan Ne­gara cur­rently, with the rest com­pris­ing four In­de­pen­dents, two each from PKR, DAP and PAS, and one each from the Malaysian In­dian Mus­lim Congress and Malaysian In­dian United Party.

A news por­tal quoted re­tired Fed­eral Court judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram as say­ing that all the se­na­tors should re­sign to al­low the Pakatan Gov­ern­ment to carry out the mandate of the peo­ple.

He said se­na­tors elected by leg­isla­tive as­sem­blies now gov­erned by Pakatan, and those ap­pointed by the Barisan gov­ern­ment, should va­cate their po­si­tions.

He said oth­er­wise, their pres­ence as se­na­tors would give the im­pres­sion that they would make the leg­isla­tive process dif­fi­cult for the elected Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

He said the se­na­tors might also at­tack the Gov­ern­ment and refuse to pass Bills.

Sri Ram said the first to re­sign should be the De­wan Ne­gara pres­i­dent, to make way for the Pakatan Gov­ern­ment to ap­point a can­di­date of its choos­ing.

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