By John Isaac
THREE politicians from Sarawak were among five sworn in as senators before Senate president Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran at the Dewan Negara yesterday.
They are Sarawak’s Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Wanita honorary secretary Susan Chemerai Anding; Parti Rakyat Sarawak deputy secretary-general Rita Sarimah Patrick Insol; chairman of Bawang Assan branch of Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Robert Lau Hui Yew.
The others are Sepanggar Umno chief Datuk Yakubah Khan and Datuk Bashir Alias who was appointed for the second term.
Yakubah, Susan, Rita Sarimah and Lau were appointed as senators for the first time upon the consent of consent Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
Speaking to reporters later, Yakubah said he would make optimal use of his term as a senator to voice out the issues of the people in Sabah, such as rural development, the influx of illegal immigrants and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), while Rita Sarimah pledged to focus on women’s issues, education in rural areas, infrastructure development and information technology.
Susan, on the other hand, said she would voice out the matters concerning the aspiration of the people in Sarawak, including the MA63.
Meanwhile, Vigneswaran in his speech said the appointment will give the new members of the Senate, as one of the components of the highest legislative body of the country, the opportunity to serve the country and the people.
At the swearing-in ceremony, which will be his last as the Senate president, Vigneswaran also expressed hope that all senators would improve the quality of their debate abide by their oath of loyalty to the King and the country.
“Equally important is for them to comply with the Senate’s code of ethics that will help boost the image of Malaysian Parliament as a credible and respectable legislative institution,” he said. – Bernama