[KL, March 27, 2008]: The 222 newly-elected members of parliament will be sworn in on April 28, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Depart-ment Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said yesterday (March 26, 2008 - ed). YDP Agung Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin will open both houses of parliament on April 29.
Nazri told the NST that the Dewan Rakyat will sit for 16 days. He said notices were being prepared to be sent to the MPs.
Nazri said the 3 opposition parties – DAP, PKR, and Pas – will also have their own offices in the parliament complex. Previously, only a single office was provided for the opposition.
Another change will see the establishment of between 16 and 20 functional offices for the various cabinet portfolios and their ministers. “This will be their office when parliament is in session,” he said, adding that this would also enable the ministers to attend the parliament sessions.
On the seating arrangement in the Dewan Rakyat, which will see a drastic change this time compared with previous parliaments, Nazri said it was still being finalized. The seating arrangement in the Dewan Rakyat is in the form of a horse shoe comprising 8 blocks. In the 12th general election, BN won 140 seats, PKR 31, DAP 29 and PAS 23 seats. The opposition will occupy 3-and-a-half blocks, with the remainder going to the BN. -- nstonline
MPs urged to follow the rules
KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 ─ New Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has urged MPs to follow the rules when debating issues. The House sits on Monday.
"I want to be fair to everybody but all MPs should know what to do and they must do it within the parameters of the rules. If they follow the rules, everybody will be happy," he told reporters at the rehearsal of the opening ceremony for the first session of the 12th Parliament yesterday.
Also present were Santubong MP Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Beluran MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee, who were both appointed Deputy Speakers.
Pandikar Amin, 52, a former minister in the Prime Minister's Department, replaces Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib and become only the seventh Speaker since Parliament was created in 1959.
Asked whether errant MPs would be asked to leave the House, he said: "I don't know yet. Let us wait and see."
Pandikar Amin, who was surprised over his appointment, thanked those involved in the decision and pledged to give his best.
Monday's sitting is set to make a record of sorts with 99 new MPs and a strong Opposition with 82 MPs, a four-fold increase from the last one.
The 12th Dewan Rakyat session will be opened by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin on Tuesday. ─ Bernama