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Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — The media need to understand better, the procedures and rules of a parliamentary sitting to enable better reporting and transmitting of accurate messages to the public.

Dewan Rakyat (House pf Representatives) Speaker, Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun said anything that happened there including the rulings made by him were in accordance with the parliamentary meeting procedures that were based on the Federal Constitution.

He cited claims made by various quarters that he had disallowed several motions for debate, stating that each motion proposed should be in accordance with the parliamentary procedures.

Azhar also said that throughout his role as Dewan Rakyat Speaker thus far, he had never been influenced by any party including the government in making a decision or ruling.

“I have never been influenced, I make my rulings based on the House procedures. I’m an engagement person, I engage with all, (whether it’s the) government or opposition,” he said at a get-together between the Speaker and media at the Parliament building, here, today.

Asked on the need to create a parliamentary system with a fixed term, Azhar said that from the practical aspect, it was better as the set date of the General Election would make it easier for all parties, besides saving some costs.

“That time (when I was with the Election Commission), I had preferred a fixed term as it (EC) could be better prepared. We could start choosing the schools (as polling centres), renting halls, viewing the polling centres earlier, training the election workers, ordering supplies and so on.

“We will have a set schedule. (But) with no fixed system, an election can be suddenly called for, so we cannot be better prepared. We have to make our own guesses,” he said.

The media have reported that Dewan Negara (Senate) president, Tan Sri Rais Yatim as saying that the idea of a fixed term was raised in 1974 by former minister Tan Sri Senu Abdul Rahman, who was also the Umno secretary-general.

Of late, a number of Opposition MPs and political analysts also suggested that an Act on a fixed term be enacted to ensure the dissolution of Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies be made only with the end of their terms. — Bernama

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