SHAH ALAM: Speakers are the key pillars in the democratic process and should be politically impartial, says the Selangor state Ruler.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah said a Speaker has to be fair, mature, honest and knowledgeable with high integrity.

“Speakers should never take sides, be it the ruling party or the opposition.

“Hence, they have to uphold the rules and standards of the assembly and ensure that all members adhere to them,” he said at the opening of the three-day 2017 Conference of Parliamentary and State Assembly Speakers of Malaysia at a hotel here yesterday.

Sultan Sharafuddin also told all elected representatives to conduct themselves with poise, orderliness and according to all Standing Orders during the sittings.

“I do not want incidents involving elected representatives getting emotional and uttering harsh and hurtful remarks.

“Manners and etiquette during debates are important to portray that our country’s leaders are matured.

“We must be able to show the rakyat and also the world that we are able to debate and discuss issues concerning the people and the country in a polite and mature way,” he said.

Sultan Sharafuddin also called for parliamentary and state assembly sittings not to go on after midnight.

“This is the time to rest. The alertness of everyone, including the secretariats and reporters, are no longer at the optimum level.

“The sittings should also be extended with sufficient time so that elected representatives can voice out the concerns of the grassroots,” he said.

On April 7, the Parliament sitting continued after midnight to 5am to debate and pass five Bills.

In 2015, the House was adjourned at 4.25am.

On the state legislative assembly, Sultan Sharafuddin said it has the most number of assemblywomen as compared to other states with 15.

“I am very proud of this. They represent 27% of the leaders in the state assembly.

“Selangor also created history when we appointed the first and youngest female Speaker in the country,” said the state Ruler, pointing out that the younger generation and women were able to lead and contribute positively to the society and country.

Sultan Sharafuddin also lauded Speaker Hannah Yeoh to make it compulsory for the Opposition leader to lead the state’s Public Accounts Committee, which was in line with other Commonwealth countries.

“It is necessary to recognise the role of the Opposition and provide them with space to act as check and balance,” he added.