Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Permatang
on Tuesday, 26th August 2008:
Abdullah may not be able to smoothly
present the 2009 Budget on Friday if Anwar is frustrated from being
sworn in as MP and taking his rightful place in the first Opposition
seat as Opposition Leader in Parliament, directly opposite the Prime
A spate of news reports quoting the Speaker,
Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia as saying that the oath-taking ceremony to
swear in the winner of the Permatang Pauh by-election today would most
likely be held in mid-October and that he did not see any urgency to
“fix a quick date” has raised eye-brows all round and thrown up a flurry
There can be no doubt that if the Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Arif
Shah Omar wins the Permatang Pauh by-election, he would definitely be
sworn in as MP in Parliament this week, latest by Thursday if not
tomorrow itself – so that it could be used by the Prime Minister, Datuk
Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as a much-needed confidence-booster after the
devastation suffered by the Barisan Nasional in the March 8 “political
tsunami” relegating the Barisan Nasional to the Opposition benches in
five states – Penang, Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Kelantan – and
depriving for the first time in Malaysian history of its two-thirds
I believe nobody in Malaysia doubts that if Arif could win the Permatang
Pauh by-election today, he would be sworn in as MP in Parliament
tomorrow or latest by Thursday.
Why then should the position be any different if Datuk Seri Anwar
Ibrahim is re-elected as MP for the constituency and storms back to
Parliament with a historic majority?
Abdullah, the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak who had
spearheaded the Barisan Nasional Permatang Pauh by-election campaign to
be a 4Ds campaign – the dirtiest and the most disgraceful, dishonourable
and divisive election strategy – and other Barisan Nasional leaders may
not want to see Anwar return to Parliament in triumph to take his seat
as the Parliamentary Opposition Leader exactly opposite Abdullah for
2009 Budget presentation on Friday, but this is not for them but for the
voters of Permatang Puah to decide today!
The reasons that have been given by the Speaker in the press why Anwar
will not be able to take his rightful seat in Parliament for the 2009
Budget presentation on Friday when he wins the by-election do not stand
up to scrutiny.
This is what Pandikar Amin said, as reported in The Star today:
Pandikar Amin said although the
by-election result would be announced tonight, he would still have
to wait for a formal letter from the EC before he can fix a date for
the new MP to take his oath.
“I do not see any urgency for me to fix a
quick date. For all you know, the newly elected MP may want to go
for a holiday first, or even for an umrah before coming to the Dewan
Rakyat,” he said yesterday.
“I am prepared for anything but I can’t
answer whether the new MP will be able to attend the tabling of the
Budget this Friday,” he said.
If Anwar is frustrated from being sworn in as
MP and to take his rightful place in Parliament during the 2009 Budget
presentation on Friday, Parliament would have failed the voters of
Permatang Pauh and the people of Malaysia.
There is no reason whatsoever why Anwar could not be sworn in as MP and
appointed as Opposition Leader to take the first Opposition seat
opposite the Prime Minister in Parliament for the 2009 budget
presentation on Friday.
In 1983, the then DAP National Chairman Dr. Chen Man Hin won the
Seremban by-election on Saturday, 19th November 1983 and was sworn in as
MP on Monday, 21st November 1983. The Seremban by-election was created
when the then MCA President, Datuk Lee San Choon who had won the seat
from Dr. Chen in the 1982 general election, made a sudden announcement
of political retirement.
If Dr. Chen could be sworn in as MP in less than 36 hours of his
re-election as MP, as Parliament was then in session, we should be even
more efficient 25 years later especially in the era of information
I don’t see why Anwar could not be sworn in as MP in Parliament tomorrow
on his victory in the Permatang Pauh by-election today. Even if Anwar
could not be sworn in tomorrow, there is no reason whatsoever why Anwar
could not be sworn in on Thursday, start his appointment as
Parliamentary Opposition Leader and take his place in the first
Opposition seat in Parliament on Friday directly opposite Abdullah
during the 2009 Budget presentation.
Pakatan Rakyat, which won 82 seats in Parliament, has appointed Anwar as
the new Parliamentary Opposition Leader in place of Datuk Seri Dr. Wan
Azizah Wan Ismail. An official letter on Anwar’s appointment would be
submitted to the Speaker tomorrow.
Abdullah may not be able to smoothly present the 2009 Budget on Friday
if Anwar is frustrated from being sworn in as MP and taking his rightful
place in the first Opposition seat as Opposition Leader in Parliament.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor