Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Khir to become Selangor opposition leader - NST

April 22, 2008 By DHARMENDER SINGH

FORMER Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo is set to become the opposition leader, if tradition in the allocation of seats at the state assembly is anything to go by.

The Sungai Panjang assemblyman has been given the first seat at the front row to the left of the state assembly Speaker and this seat has traditionally been given to the opposition leader.

The seat was formerly occupied by Sungai Pinang assemblymen Teng Chang Khim when he formed part of the two-man opposition voice in the house following the 2004 general election.

Datuk Dr Hasan Ali (PAS), who led the opposition after the 1999 general election, had also occupied the seat.

Former Seri Kembangan assemblyman Datuk Liew Yuen Keong (MCA) said although there were no regulations calling for the seat to be occupied by the opposition leader, it had been traditionally assigned in that manner.

“From the time I became an assemblyman after the 1995 general election, it has been the opposition leader's seat and I have been told the tradition had been in place for a long time,” he said.

He added that the former Selangor Barisan Nasional chairman taking on the opposition leader's job would be no surprise given that he had held the highest Barisan Nasional post in the state before this.

The post of opposition leader is not an official post so there is no need for the nomination of candidates for the post or an election to select the leader.

The leader is picked mainly with the consent of all the parties involved, usually based on experience and seniority in party position.

But the post of Speaker is an official post and the election for the post will be the first order of the day as the assemblymen attend their swearing-in ceremony tomorrow morning.

The Pakatan Rakyat state government has announced that it will nominate Teng Chang Khim for the Speaker’s post and Taman Medan assemblyman Haniza Talha (PKR) for the deputy’s post.

The two will automatically be appointed if there are no other nominations for the post.

It is understood, however, that no other nominations have been sent to the office of the secretary to the state assembly.

Nominations are required to be sent in at least seven days before the date of the swearing-in.

If chosen, Teng and Haniza will lead off by being the first two to be sworn-in followed by Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and the state executive councillors. The rest of the assemblymen will then be sworn in

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