Anwar at odds with Nik Abduh

(NST) – OPPOSITION leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Pas’ Pasir Mas member of parliament Nik Abduh Nik Aziz were at odds yesterday in their reaction to the king’s call for all parties to respect and accept the results of the recently concluded 13th General Election (GE13).

Anwar, who is also PKR de facto leader and Permatang Pauh MP, said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah’s speech in Parliament was only a “recommendation” and was up for debate by all MPs.

“The speech from the throne, in a democratic convention, is based on what is suggested and recommended by the prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak).

“Therefore, it is up for a debate in the house,” Anwar told newsmen outside Parliament yesterday.

Anwar said that no debate would be held in Parliament if the king had issued a royal decree.

“If it were an order from the king, there would be no debate. But the principle in a democratic convention is for debates to take place, not for orders to be made.”

Parliament will have a seating today to debate the king’s speech.

In the king’s royal address in Parliament yesterday morning, Tuanku Halim urged all parties to respect and accept the polls results as the election was conducted based on the principles of democracy.

Anwar also said members of parliament had the freedom to disregard, reject and argue the points brought up by the king as the facts contained in his speech originated from the ruling Barisan Nasional government.

“The speech was recommended by the prime minister. This is a standard practice… I used to chair the committee to recommend the speech to be read by the king, to be seriously recommended to the house,” said Anwar.

However, in detracting from Anwar’s view, Nik Abduh said he believed Pakatan had already accepted the GE13 results and that it was time to move forward.

“The king’s speech has left a positive impact on all of us. He has placed high hopes on us to work together to develop the country.

“As a new member of parliament, I will strive hard to ensure that the king’s aspirations for the country are met,” said Nik Abduh who is also Pas Youth deputy chief.

On Sunday, Anwar was quoted as saying that Pakatan would push ahead for more rallies to protest against alleged electoral fraud in the recent polls despite a poor turnout during Saturday’s rally in Padang Merbok here.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the king had spoken on the advice of the government, as stipulated under the Federal Government.

Responding to questions if the speech was written by the Prime Minister’s Department, the Santubong member of parliament said the speech was written by the palace, but the prime minister’s advice could come in many ways.

Tanjung Karang MP Datuk Seri Noh Omar defended the royal address, saying all parties should take his advice into careful consideration.

“We should not just uphold the oath we made in Parliament (on Monday), but also abide by the recommendations made by the king. His advice should be taken into careful consideration by all,”

Noh said the opposition should file polls petitions if it was unhappy with the polls results.