Dewan Rakyat Convenes First Meeting, Pandikar Amin Sworn In As Speaker
KUALA LUMPUR, April 28, 2008 (Bernama) -- The first meeting of the first session of the 12th parliament began today, with the swearing-in of the 222 members of parliament led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Before the MPs were sworn in, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, a veteran Sabah politician, took the oath of office and was proclaimed the Dewan Rakyat speaker.
His appointment, under Article 57 of the Federal Constitution, was proposed by Abdullah, who had nominated only Pandikar Amin's name to the Dewan Rakyat secretary, Rosmee Hamzah, in a letter dated April 10.
Pandikar Amin's appointment was seconded by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Before being sworn in, Rosmee and his aides helped Pandikar Amin, 53, the Barisan Nasional's (BN) sole nominee for the post, put on the speaker's regalia.
Pandikar Amin, of Kota Belud, Sabah, and former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, served as a senator before and was president of the now defunct Angkatan Keadilan Rakyat (Akar Bersatu).
Santubong MP Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Beluran MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee were elected deputy speakers through ballot voting after three names were proposed for the post.
Wan Junaidi of Sarawak and Ronald from Sabah were proposed by the prime minister while DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, who is also Ipoh Timur MP, nominated Kepong MP and DAP deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw.
Wan Junaidi polled 157 votes, Ronald 140 and Dr Tan, a dermatologist, managed only 81.
The sitting was adjourned to tomorrow after the deputy speakers' election. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, will open the Parliament session Tuesday.
The Dewan Rakyat will be in session for 16 days until May 27.
The 12th general election on March 8 saw the Barisan Nasional (BN) securing a simple majority to form the government, winning 140 of the 222 parliamentary seats, while the Opposition won 82.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) romped home 31 seats, DAP (28) and PAS (23).
For the first time, the first 30 minutes of the question-and-answer session will be telecast live by RTM from Wednesday.-- BERNAMA