Perlis state assembly member Yip Sun Onn must be commended for resigning from his Titi Tinggi seat over his differences with the MCA/BN leadership.
We are not concerned about his reasons for resigning. Unlike other elected representatives who clung to their positions and allowances after shamelessly betraying the voters’ mandate and turning traitors to their own party, Yip chose the only honourable option left to an ethical person. Unlike the others, he did not proclaim himself a BN-friendly independent.
He has tendered his letter of resignation to the Speaker, as it should be. In any democracy, the duty of a Speaker is to notify the Election Commission of such a resignation so that a by-election can be held without delay.
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We are therefore flabbergasted that Perlis Speaker Yazid Mat was reported in Malaysiakini as saying that he would use his powers as Speaker to determine if the seat is vacant and that he would advise Yip to reconsider his decision.
It is not the Speaker’s prerogative to determine whether a seat has fallen vacant. Rather, when a letter of resignation is handed in to him, the seat automatically falls vacant.
Yazid should conduct himself as Speaker of the Assembly and not as a BN official trying to safeguard the interests of the ruling coalition. The Speaker should not be sitting on the letter of resignation to allow time for top MCA/BN party functionaries to persuade Yip to retract his letter.
Aliran executive committee
23 March 2010