Friday, July 5, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

Why are the sessions in Dewan Rakyat often rowdy and noisy?

The answer is that Paktan Rakyat does not have a shadow cabinet, so they do not have anyone who is specialized to deal with issues which are being debated.

In the end, everybody in Pakatan thinks he or she can join in the fray and make more noise and create a more rowdy situation in parliament with the speaker having to invoke parliamentary rules and regulations which almost always tantamount to teaching the members of parliament concerned like they are kindergarten school students, who did not know them in the first place.

Yes, this is the sad truth; that most of the members of parliament especially those from Pakatan do not know the rules and regulations of parliament.

They do not know when to speak and also when to stop.

Most of the time, they chip in and voice their displeasure at the person from the government, but not his views and the policies he is dealing with.

The first day of the Thirteenth session of Parliament turned out to be a blow to parliamentary democracy.

It shows the bad and worse side of Pakatan.

The few minute of footage that was shown on television prove that the few from Pakatan do not know what they are talking about.

The clip has Noh Mohammad from the government side talking about the Malayan Union, and how the Melayu then opposed it.

Yet, Lim Kit Siang would stand up and uttered words which did not have any connection with the matter.

Kit Siang, as always spoke in his Funny and Deplorable Melayu went on and on, without anyone knowing what he is saying.

It only made Noh furious as Kit Siang did not refer to the Malayan Union.

Then it is the time for Annuar Musa to speak. He commented on the ‘popular votes’ which Pakatan had tried to debate, for which Annuar remarked that the debate is useless as there is no mention about it in the Constitution.

Then from nowhere PAS member of parliament Hannifa sprang onto his feet. Everybody thought he had something interesting and intelligent to say, by chipping in during a slight pause Annuar had made.

It was a wise move by Hannifa to do that considering how the others from the Pakatan side were busy with their own thoughts, to seize the moment to share his views on the matter.

But no, Hannifah merely questioned how Annuar who had won his seat by a 800-vote margin and who was embroiled in the PPRT scandal or matter could run for election.

What has these got to do with what Annuar was trying to say? None.

Hannifa did not realize by questioning the 800-vote margin he said Annuar had won, really kicks the logic behind the controversy Pakatan when they started to talk about ‘popular votes’, for which Annuar had got for which had also allowed him to win his seat and be in the parliament now.

Hannifah clearly did not know what debates in parliament are supposed to be and do. They are specific, on issues that are brought up and not to be sidelined by petty issues.

Clearly many of the Pakatan members of parliament including the older ones who have been in parliament most of their lives still do not know what they are there for.

Karpal Singh’s level of Melayu is also deplorable as much as Kit Siang.

Their understanding of the language is low. From what we can see or hear, they speak Melayu like they did twenty years ago.

Over the years, they had not acquired a wider vocabulary that could allow them to debate on issues better and more intelligently.

Karpal and Kit Siang seem to be using the same terms and words when debating in parliament, and their accents are still the same.

Their sons, Gobind and Guan Eng speak better Melayu than they are.

In fact, those members of parliament of speak and write better Melayu are those who can express themselves better, thus allowing their views to be heard distinctly.

No one knows what Kit Siang says most of the time.

The problem being, he only uses Melayu in parliament and hardly ever outside of it and especially in social and also DAP functions when he would speak in Mandarin.

Karpal also does not speak Melayu regularly. In press conferences and outside of the courts, he choose to speak in English. But his English accent is much to be desired.

What he and Kit Siang say in English normally have to be subtitled.

This clearly shows that these two DAPstauruses have not bothered to improve on their command and understanding of the Melayu language that would allow them to express themselves better.

But whatever it is, the absence of a shadow cabinet from Pakatan is their real problem; they should be eager to name the members of their shadow cabinet who can specialize and even counter the remarks and statements and also challenge the policies that the respective ministers make or have.

The government and also opposition in Malaysia should by right have at the most a dozen speakers from each side, headed by the ministers from the cabinet and shadow cabinet, with the rest behaving like ‘yes-men’.

But Pakatan not only have yes-men, but also noisy-men whose goal is to create a din in Dewan Rakyat, and they think the more noise they make, the better they are serving their coalition or party and constituency.

They are right in many ways as the media seem to highlight those who make the most noise but not those who say the smartest things in parliament. 

Till now there is no one from Pakatan who knows the goings-on in all the ministries, to be able to debate intelligently and exactly with the respective ministers concerned.

In the end, all of them can only chip on and spout things which are senseless.

Hannifa speaks in parliament like he is speaking in a PAS ‘ceramah’ or writing in their party organ, Harakah.

The others from PAS, DAP and also PKR are also no better.

Sessions in the Dewan Rakyat can never come up to the level that we can see in the parliaments in other developed countries such as Britain, Australia, New Zealand and America.

Dewan Rakyat can be described to be slightly better than the parliament in Taiwan where chairs are sometimes thrown. 

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