IPOH, Aug 3 — The coming Perak legislative assembly sitting will see longer debates and question-and-answer sessions as part of new reforms to the house under the Pakatan Harapan administration.
State legislative assembly speaker Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham announced that the amount of time allocated for the Opposition leader and assemblymen debate would be increased by 50 per cent for the coming sitting, which starts on Aug 6.
Ngeh said the opposition leader’s allocated time had been increased from 40 minutes to an hour, while the time for other legislative members rose from 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
The question-and-answer session, he added, would be increased from 60 minutes to 90 minutes.
Ngeh said this was part of the changes and improvements made to the state assembly.
“In addition, the entrance to the state assembly will be guarded by the legislative’s own security personnel instead of the Royal Malaysian Police,” he told a press conference today.
“We don’t want the perception that the assembly is controlled by the police, which are an agency under the executive arm of the government.”
“We don’t want a repeat of May 7 2009, when the police forcibly removed the Speaker from the assembly. It was a dark spot in the state assembly’s history and should never have happened.”
Ngeh also announced that new Umno liaison chief Datuk Saarani Mohamad (BN-Kota Tampan) had been appointed as Opposition chief.
He said BN had submitted Saarani’s name to him, and said the appointment took effect from Aug 1.
Under another of the state assembly’s reforms, Saarani will be officially recognised as the state Opposition leader, and will receive an office, an official car, two officials, a driver, and an additional monthly allowance.
“In a democratic system, the Opposition members are not to be treated like enemies. They are to be respected for their roles in a democracy,” Ngeh pointed out.
“I am elated that this reform has came to fruition, as it is something that I have championed since 2004 when I was first elected as representative for Sitiawan.”
The opening of the state legislative assembly will be officiated by the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah on Aug 6.
It will continue to sit on Aug 7, 8, 9, and 13.