Polls panel report accepted without debate, minority report rejected
KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — The findings of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reforms was accepted without debate after the opposition refused to accept the Speaker’s decision to dismiss a motion to allow for a minority report.
Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia called for a vote on the report as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers refused to debate the panel’s report and insisted instead that he had erred in not allowing MPs to debate whether a minority report should be attached to the main report that was tabled today.
“Do we want to debate this report or not?” he had asked but MPs were shouting at each other instead of answering him.
“If you don’t want to debate, then I will call for a vote,” Pandikar Amin (picture) said.
Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers voted in favour, defeating the opposition coalition.
Pandikar Amin had ruled before the lunch break there was no provision in the Standing Orders to allow him to change the decision of a parliamentary select committee.
But when debate resumed, PR continued to insist that they had provided several precedents to allow a minority report, representing the views of the three opposition members in the panel who disagreed with the majority on four of the 22 recommendations, to be tabled in Parliament.
Pandikar Amin then ordered for Gombak MP Azmin Ali, Subang MP R. Sivarasa as well as Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad to be ejected for disputing his decision.
But Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim stood up to defend his colleagues, saying that “you asked for precedents, we have given you precedents.”
“You should apologise for your mistake,” the PKR de facto leader said as BN lawmakers chanted “liwat, liwat” in reference to allegations of sodomy levelled against the Permatang Pauh MP.
Opposition members responded by chanting for the Speaker to “leave the chair.”
The panel’s chief Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili later told reporters that as MPs were not given the chance to debate the report, BN representatives in the committee will hold consultations to help implement the recommendations.
The science, technology and innovation minister added that this would include NGOs and other stakeholders.
“I am confident the government and Election Commission will act on the recommendations,” he said.