Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Anwar Leads Pakatan By Appointment

Source : Malaysiakini

Pakatan Rakyat has appointed Anwar Ibrahim - who will be sworn in as MP tomorrow - the parliamentary opposition leader.


The decision was conveyed in a letter to House speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia this afternoon.

PKR vice-president Azmin Ali submitted the letter inked by him, DAP deputy chairperson Tan Seng Giaw and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, to the speaker at 4pm.

pandikar amin and azmin ali parliament pc 270808 01Earlier, Pandikar Amin told reporters that he has not received any formal letter from the opposition recognising Anwar as their leader.

"It is not I who arranges who the opposition leader should be," he said.

"It is up to the opposition members to choose, except for example, if there is only one opposition representative in the House, then the president of that party will be considered as the leader,” he explained.

Pandikar Amin also stressed that parliament proceedings, including the budget presentation on Friday, would go on even without the presence of an opposition leader.

"Let me tell you honestly… it (the debates) will go on as usual," he said. "I don't see why the opposition is not efficient in this matter… unless they are squabbling amongst themselves on who should be the opposition leader."

MPs told to behave

Pandikar Amin also called on legislators to behave themselves and show proper decorum at the swearing-in ceremony to officially admit Anwar into parliament tomorrow.

"The utmost importance in parliament is the decorum," he stressed.

"I have had discussions earlier and the swearing-in ceremony will go on tomorrow after prayer session as stated in the parliament guidelines. According to the rules, a new member must be sworn in and coincidentally, we have a new member."

anwar leaving for counting center 260808Anwar, a former deputy prime minister before his shock sacking in 1998 by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, won the Permatang Pauh by-election yesterday with a much bigger-than-expected majority of 15,671 votes over Arif Shah Omar Shah, the candidate from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

Anwar's return to Parliament, after an absence of 10 years, is expected to be an emotional one.

His arrest and imprisonment for sodomy and corruption charges that he says were fabricated by political enemies had sparked widespread street protests and international outcry.

Nevertheless, the charismatic 61-year old politician is back in the limelight after leading Pakatan Rakyat to a sterling performance in the March general election. Pakatan won 81 out of the 222 parliamentary seats.

All eyes are now on whether Anwar's huge popularity, especially in the wake of the Permatang Pauh by-election victory, can trigger enough BN legislators to cross over to his Pakatan alliance and help it form a new government.