KUANTAN: The Pahang State Legislative Assembly (pix) today approved the motion to amend the State Constitution to appoint five assemblymen without going through the election process.
The motion which was brought forward by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail was passed by majority vote without the presence of opposition assemblymen who walked out of the hall in protest against the motion.
Semambu assemblyman Lee Chean Chung of PKR was absent as he is attending a seminar abroad.
Earlier, Wan Rosdy proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the second part of the law be made to enable the appointment of five assemblymen to provide better services to the people, especially during the unprecedented Covid-19 situation.
“These appointed assemblymen can reduce the ratio of an assemblyman to the total population in Pahang because we are a large state. This is to complement each other and there is no overlapping of roles.
“The appointment is not politically motivated but people-oriented. We see their opportunity to serve and it needs to be brought to the State Legislative Assembly to justify their professional qualifications before they can be appointed,” he said at the State Pahang Legislative Assembly sitting at Wisma Sri Pahang here today.
Wan Rosdy said the amendment states that the appointment of the assemblymen must be made on the motion of seven assemblymen and approved by a simple majority besides they can participate in the debate and have the right to vote.
However, the five assemblymen are not eligible to be elected as Menteri Besar or members of the State Executive Council (EXCO).
“Nothing unusual with the appointment because Sabah and Terengganu have done it. This amendment was discussed at the EXCO meeting on July 22 and the post-EXCO meeting on Aug 3 which was chaired by the State Secretary who also agreed with the proposal,” he said.
Bilut assemblyman Lee Chin Chen was the first to protest the motion saying that the appointment was against the principles of democracy as those who did not get the people’s mandate through elections could be in the Pahang State Legislative Assembly, besides describing it as a ‘back door’ decision.
Echoing the same sentiment, Ketari assemblyman Young Syefura Othman said the decision involved financial implications, adding that the small number of opposition assemblymen would not effectively provide check and balance to the state government administration.
Former Pahang Menter Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob who is also Pelangai assemblyman said the move was appropriate as it enables professionals from minority groups to be appointed as elected representatives and to raise the issues of their community.
The state assembly sitting was adjourned to a date to be fixed later. -Bernama