Speakers' Corner: Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site.

Speaker or Squeaker

Malaysia, having accepted the Constitution offered to it by the departing colonial power, should either select another, more suited to its nature, or apply the existing one fairly and equably.

In so far as the office of Speaker of the Legislative Assembly is concerned this is not the case. Firstly the very essence of the office of Speaker is to be the representative of the members of the Assembly. This is why, in all Westminster based parliaments, the Speaker is, or should be, an elected member of that Assembly and, consequently, removable if a majority of members so vote. That, alone, ensures that the holder of the office conforms to and protects parliamentary privilege and ensures that the Parliament proceeds in a lawful manner.

Crucially the members of the Parliament retain the power to vote the Speaker out of office if he breaches the letter or the the spirit of it. This is a vital element that ensures that a Speaker is just that, the representative of Parliament.  Unhappily for Malaysia and its Legislative Assembly that is not the case. Anyone qualified to be elected to the Assembly may be appointed as its Speaker!  In other words if you are breathing and not disqualified from standing for election to the Assembly you can legally be the Speaker. Thus all registered voters are qualified for the office!

That provision makes a mockery of Parliament much as does the present holder of the office of Speaker who consistently behaves as though he is a member the ruling party doing arch criminal Najib’s bidding. He represents only the BN members of the Assembly and regularly ignores his duty to represent ALL members and protect their interests and privileges. In short he is a tin pot parliamentary dictator. One of the first acts of a new PH majority government must be to dismiss him from office and ensure that a new Speaker is elected from among the Members.

Until that happens the existing Speaker should retire to his, taxpayer funded, private jamban and reflect on the inevitable fate of its product.

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