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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pandikar to Karpal: I’m sorry


The Dewan Rakyat Speaker also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the MPs before adjourning the last sitting before the 13th general election.
KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia today took the opportunity to apologise to MPs if he had hurt their feelings in the course of the parliament sittings since 2008.
He also said that today was the last parliament session before the 13th general election, unless the House is called for an emergency sitting for whatever reason.
“I wish to take this opportunity to apologise to Bukit Gelugor MP (Karpal Singh) in particular as well,” said Pandikar.
He explained that there was one time during the sitting when he had asked for all the MPs to raise their hands to make a decision on a Bill and had reprimanded Karpal for failing to do so.
He said it had slipped his mind that Karpal could not lift his hand as he was disabled following a bad car crash some years ago.
“I still feel bad about it till today. Although Karpal is not in the House today, I would like to say that I am very sorry. I did not mean to be so insensitive,” said Pandikar.
The usually stern Pandikar was in a light hearted mood and said that he appreciated many things about the MPs, mainly for not engaging in fist fights during debates like some parliaments in other countries.
“A political observer once told me that if a monkey falls from a tree, no matter how high or how painful it is, the monkey is still a monkey.
“But if a minister were to fall from grace, he won’t be called a minister or YB anymore. Please take note of this. Being a politician is a huge responsibility,” he told the MPs.
Pandikar urged veteran MPs, should they be chosen and win the general election, to be a guide and mentor to new MPs in the House.
“And for the current first term MPs, if you are chosen and win in the election, don’t behave like a junior parliamentarian in the next session,” he said.
Pandikar also said he was grateful to the government and parliament officers, as well as the media for their hard work.
Umno’s Tangga Batu MP Idris Haron and PAS Kuala Krai MP Hatta Ramli, on behalf of their coalitions, expressed their gratitude and apologised to Pandikar and his deputies Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Ronald Kiandee if they had erred in any way.
Information Minister Rais Yatim added “As a fellow colleague and someone who knows you for a long time, please accept our gratitude for your hard work.”
The Dewan Rakyat was adjourned at 4.48pm.
Voters are more mature now
Speaking at a press conference later, Pandikar said that he learnt one important value in his course as Dewan Rakyat speaker; that is patience.
“I must admit that I do lose control at times. I had even considered throwing the towel on several occasions but I realised that other countries had worse experiences,” he said.
In order to resolve issues, Pandikar said that he conducted closed door meetings at times with some of the MPs to understand their grouses.
“And some of the MPs responded positively to my invites and even gave me good suggestions. Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang is one of those who gave me good advise,” he said.
The Sabah Umno member also reminded politicians that the Malaysian voters are more mature now and they know the issues affecting the country.
“In those days, as long as you’re an Umno candidate, you can win elections but the situation now is no longer like that.
“Heed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s advise when he said that a leader must not only be a better person but also add value to the country.
When asked if he was interested to become the Speaker again after the next general election, Pandikar chuckled and said, “will cross the bridge when it comes.”

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