Saturday, May 3, 2008

No need for assemblymen to double up as MPs, says PKR man - The Star

PENANG: May 3, 2008

The Pakatan Rakyat government should review the decision of having representatives playing dual roles as both state assemblyman and MP, said a senior state PKR leader.

Kebun Bunga assemblyman Jason Ong Khan Lee, who is state PKR deputy chairman, said he would raise the issue in the state assembly in July.

“Logically speaking, it is difficult for these assemblymen to juggle the time and cope with the heavy responsibilities if they are playing different roles,” he said after the swearing-in ceremony yesterday.

Emphasising that he was not pushing for any by-election, he said the coalition needed to find ways to overcome possible problems.

“This is not what we anticipated earlier. I think Pakatan Rakyat should seriously discuss this matter,” he added.

Ong said that contesting both parliamentary and state seats was a general election tactic and at that time, most candidates did not expect to win both.

State Local Government, Traffic Management and Environment Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow, who is also Tanjung MP and Padang Kota assemblyman, however said there was no conflict between the two roles.

“In fact, this can be a value-added task for me. In Parliament, I not only represent my parliamentary constituency but also the state government,” he said.

Chow said the parliamentary calendar was already fixed and it was not too difficult for him to manage his time between his state work and parliamentary sittings.

He said the most important thing for those holding two positions was to ensure they fulfilled all the basic responsibilities before taking part in other debates in Parliament.

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