Malaysiakini News

After BN rejection, no need for Act 355 bill passage, says Kit Siang

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DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang argues that since BN has already rejected the bill to amend Act 355, there is no need for the bill to be allowed passage or to be voted on in Parliament.

"Any passage of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion in Parliament next Thursday will make a total mockery of the BN supreme council decision that the BN government will not take over Hadi’s bill to amend Act 355," Lim said in a statement today.

He argued that this was because if the bill was passed by the House, it would still end up in the hands of a BN minister, who would have to decide on the future course of the amended law.

"As per Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 49 (3), if leave is granted for a private member’s bill motion, it shall be deemed to have been read the first time and ordered to be printed and a copy of the bill shall be delivered to the Parliament secretary.

"Standing Order 49(4) provides that the bill will be printed and circulated to members, and shall be referred without discussion to the minister concerned, with the subjects or functions of the bill, no further proceedings shall be taken until the minister has reported to the House thereon."

Lim said that since BN has already decided that the government will not take over or follow through with the bill, the matter is moot as the BN minister will not, or rather cannot follow through or risk going against the party line.

"In the present case over Hadi’s bill, the BN supreme council decided that the government (which would include any minister concerned) would not take over Hadi’s private member’s bill.

"Which would mean that even if Hadi’s private member's bill motion is passed by Parliament, the bill would not be taken over and pursued further by the federal government," Lim said.

In any case, he added, any debate and voting by MPs knowing that Hadi’s bill would not be taken over by the federal government would make Parliament the laughing stock of the world.

After Najib's announcement on Wednesday night that the federal government would not take over Hadi's bill, attention has shifted to whether it would be allowed to be tabled, debated and voted on by the House.

Hadi's bill, which was given leave for tabling in the first session of last year's Parliament sitting, was postponed until last year's second sitting, and was later postponed again until the current first sitting of this year.

It is expected to be tabled sometime in the last five days of this Parliament sitting, which will end next week.

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