Election Of Perak State Assembly Speaker, Slap In The Face For Umno's Race Politics
It was a historic moment at the Perak assembly yesterday when an Indian state assemblyman was elected as the speaker for the first time, while a woman was chosen as deputy speaker.***** Consider this part of the above report - 'Although the standing orders stated the ballot papers would be marked and signed while the assembly secretary or his agent should collect the papers from the desk of the wakil rakyat, BN assemblymen had other plans in mind and asked for a secret ballot.'
DAP assemblyman for Tronoh V. Sivakumar, 37, was elected as the 12th speaker, while Hee Yit Foong, the DAP assemblywoman for Jelapang and a polio victim, was picked for the deputy speaker's post at the first sitting of the assembly.
The Pakatan Rakyat grouping of DAP, PKR and Pas won 31 seats against Barisan Nasional's 28 in the March 8 general election.
BN nominated former speaker Datuk Seri Junus Wahid to retain the position and nominated Chenderiang state assemblyman Mah Hang Soon for the deputy speaker's post.
Even before voting could take place, there were plenty of fireworks from both sides.
When Slim assemblyman Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib proposed Junus's name, senior executive council member and Sitiawan assemblyman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham objected as the candidate was not even present in the assembly.
"The proposed candidate must be physically present," he said.
To this, Pengkalan Hulu assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali stood up and said: "If his presence is needed urgently, he can be called as Junus is just around the corner. Notice should have been given for him to be present."
After assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri announced that he had contacted Junus, Pantai Remis assemblyman Nga Kor Ming retorted saying the former should not have done so.
A few minutes later, a calm Junus walked into the assembly and witnessed the voting.
Although the standing orders stated the ballot papers would be marked and signed while the assembly secretary or his agent should collect the papers from the desk of the wakil rakyat, BN assemblymen had other plans in mind and asked for a secret ballot.
Pasir Pinji DAP assemblyman Thomas Su Keong Siong said the standing orders did not say anything about a secret ballot.
Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin defused the situation by saying the government agreed to a secret vote.
All assemblymen walked to the two booths to sign and mark their ballot papers before putting them in boxes.
When the results were announced, Sivakumar received 31 votes against his opponent's 28, while Hee received 30 votes against the 28 obtained by her opponent.
What do you think was the logic behind the BN (read Umno) demand for a secret ballot? With the typical befuddled race-based thinking, mentality and strategy that the umnoputeras are perennially stuck with, they had hoped, nay indeed convinced that if a secret ballot was held, the Malays in the Pakatan Rakyat would vote for Umno's Malay candidate instead of Pakatan's non-Malay choice.
The Perak Menteri Besar agreed to their demand and what happened? Not even one state assemblyman from Pakatan voted for the Umno calon. Not surprising really. Umno had all along put up this act and facade that they were the sole 'champions' of Malay rights and duped the nation for decades. Now the people have seen through their duplicitous game and won't fall for their bangsa, agama dan negara 'struggle' anymore. Honest and dedicated men and women have taken over the helm of several states and the nation will heave a big sigh of relief when they gain control of the federal government as well. Then we can all look back at the time when we lived through the nightmare of Umno's despicable reign of corruption and apartheid.
Even at this crucial juncture when their racist philosophy and even their own party is in tatters they still have not been able to rid themselves off the ethnic equation in everything they do. And they never will.
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