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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Perak sitting: Volcano eruption in the offing

It is likely that the next Perak State Assembly sitting may be hit by another political storm, as Pakatan prepares to grill the state on the need for an extra RM80 million budget allocation to top up the deficit budget of nearly RM24 million for 2010.

The main agenda for the Aug 3 session is the Supplementary Supply Enactment 2010 of RM80 million which allocates RM30 million for general miscellaneous services and RM50 million for grants to statutory funds.

NONESince the BN grabbed power from Pakatan, the Perak assembly sessions have so far been one-day affairs to hamstring opposition's attempts at verbal assaults on the former.

As such, the next sitting to add to the deficit budget of RM23,890,000 may just be another one-day exercise in warming assembly seats - a favourite BN tactic to avoid open confrontation with the Pakatan elected representatives.

Pakatan leaders are sending the olive branch to BN asking for a four-day sitting, so as to question the need for the extra funds which come from the taxpayer.

It remains doubtful that the BN will respond positively to the peace overtures and face the opposition wrath for pushing the deficit to almost RM200 million, or precisely RM103,890,000 for this year.

Opposition lists demands

NONEYesterday at a media conference at Pakatan state headquarters, former assembly speaker V Sivakumar (right) outlined the opposition's eight points to ensure a smooth four-day assembly seating to iron out the need for extra allocations.

Among them were:

  • A four-day proper sitting this time around to debate the various issues affecting the state.
  • The question and answer session to be 90 minutes, to ensure that all Pakatan's oral and written questions emailed and sent personally to the assembly secretary are answered.

    During the last sitting the excuse for not answering Pakatan's questions was that they were not directly posted to the assembly secretary.

    But the fact was that Sivakumar, who had received the questions, had indeed forwarded them to him.
  • All media must be given space inside the assembly hall to report the proceedings for Perakians to assess for themselves the performance of their elected representatives.
They should not be confined to the vistors' gallery located above the assembly hall and the sound system of the assembly switched off, as was the case during the last assembly sitting.

The ban on Pakatan assemblypersons bringing into the House any audio or video recording devices like cameras, laptops and mobile phones ban must be lifted as it infringes on their rights and too the opposition front wants a copy of the BN video recordings of the assembly proceedings for its own reference;
  • NONEPolice should not be posted inside or outside the assembly hall which creates an atmosphere of fear, hindering the opposition members from express themselves freely during the sitting; and,
  • All elected representatives should be accorded equal treatment and not segregated and ushered into different routes and doorways like in the last assembly sitting when Pakatan members were thoroughly checked with a metal detector with even their mobile phones confiscated.

However, all the demands could be so much spit in the wind, as going by the record, the BN is unlikely entertain them. And another political volcano appears set to erupt on Aug 3.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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