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Ahmad Ismail's supporter under pressure to quit - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

A DAP backbencher today called on Azhar Ibrahim (BN-Penaga) to resign if he is appointed as Penang's first officially recognised opposition leader.


Jagdeep Singh Deo (DAP-Datuk Keramat) said the Umno politician should resign because of his 'shoot the reporter' remark made during the height of the Ahmad Ismail controversy.

He said Azhar acted in a manner which is unbecoming of a respected leader of the state opposition front when he suggested that Sin Chew Daily senior journalist Tan Hoon Cheng be shot for reporting Ahmad's 'Chinese are immigrants' remark during a rally in the run-up to the Permatang Pauh by-election in August.

azhar ibrahimAzhar had uttered the words during Ahmad's press conference at the Penang Umno building on Sept 5.

Debating at the state assembly sitting on the enactment amendment bill to give recognition and allowance to the state opposition leader, Jagdeep said Azhar - as an elected member of the state legislature - should have realised his responsibility and acted honourably at all times.

"Since he had tarnished the image of the position, I suggest YB Penaga to resign as the state opposition leader (if appointed)," he added.

The bill was later passed unanimously after an hour-long debate.

With the amendment, the enactment to be cited as Members of the Administration and the Legislative Assembly (Remuneration) (Amendment) Enactment 2008, will provide a monthly RM1,000 allowance for the opposition leader.

Be grateful

When tabling the bill, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Air Putih) told the House that the position was imperative to provide an effective check and balance, offer constructive criticisms and alternative policy perceptions to the state government.

BN's 11 opposition assemblypersons, all from Umno, are widely expected to choose Azhar as the new state opposition leader once the amendment is gazetted.

Earlier during the debate, Umno's Jasmin Mohamed questioned the Pakatan Rakyat government’s sincerity in tabling the bill and demanded for higher allowance for the opposition leader.

To this, Lim said BN elected representatives should be grateful to the Penang government for giving importance to the position which forms an integral part of the democratic process.

He suggested that the opposition bench demand for similar recognition to be given to opposition leaders in BN-ruled states and added that Pakatan state governments would soon emulate Penang.

"If all of you (BN assemblypersons) can make BN states give recognition to their respective opposition leaders, then the Penang government might consider raising up the allowance," he said -