Malaysiakini News

Enough of political chicanery over the Royal Address

Gerard Lourdesamy  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT The speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Pandikar Amin Mulia, who claims to be knowledgeable about parliamentary practice and procedure, should stop making overt or covert political statements in response to criticism by opposition members of Parliament about the contents of the Royal Address that was read out by the Agong at the state opening of Parliament.

As usual BN MPs will rise to the occasion supposedly in defence of the sovereign and spew venom at the opposition for belittling the role of the constitutional monarchy even to the extent of accusing their members of lese majeste or at worst sedition and treason. The usual group of Malay nationalists will rush to make police reports at the behest of Umno so that Malay voters will perceive the opposition to be disloyal to the Malay Rulers.

It is a fact that the Royal Address is written by the prime minister in consultation with the cabinet. The usual practice it seems is to form a cabinet committee for this purpose. After the draft is prepared the text is sent to the sovereign’s private secretary for any comment and minor amendments. In essence it is a policy speech of the government which outlines the legislative programme for the coming parliamentary year.

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