Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia has denied receiving instructions from BN with regard to deferring the debate on the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) amendments.
This is after MIC president Dr S Subramaniam was reported as stating that the decision to postpone the debate was made during the previous BN supreme council meeting.
“The decision was to allow PAS to present their case and there was agreement that there won’t be voting today. So as far as that is concerned, we followed the decision in the BN council,” he had said.
“I don’t care what they say. What matters is what I say and what I do,” said Pandikar.
“Because what they say, even the (BN) component leaders, is for their political mileage. They go for elections. I don’t go for elections,” he added.
The speaker said it was the government’s wish to complete all government business before Thursday, and he had to abide by this in accordance with Standing Order 15.
“So when I was given freedom on that day, I wanted to end it early,” he added.
He pointed out that the Speaker must put a matter to the floor to be debated by members of the House after the supporting speech for a motion is read out, but since the Parliament had gone through a marathon session the previous day, he decided to end the session early, on Thursday.
Yesterday, Pandikar deferred the debate on PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s motion to the next parliament sitting on July 24.
The day before, the Dewan Rakyat was on a marathon session for almost 20 hours, with the session ending at 5.05am on Thursday, setting a new record as the longest Parliament session.
As a result, some of the Parliament staff had to sleep in the office (to continue the next day), and he himself, was deprived of sleep, Pandikar said.
This was the reason, he, as the speaker, decided to end yesterday’s session earlier than usual, he added.
Pandikar stressed that he was being fair and does not have any political agenda.
Meanwhile, Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar insisted that Pandikar had received instructions from BN to postpone Hadi’s motion to the next session.
“Supporter for the bill, Kota Baru MP (Takiyuddin Hassan) should have stood up and raised an objection to the speaker.
“He should have asked for a debate, in order to speed up the matter,” said the PAS lawmaker.