GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today shot down a PKR rep’s argument that the state’s executive council line-up was unfair to PKR, Amanah and PPBM members in the state assembly.
Norlela Ariffin (PKR-Penanti) had said more exco members from her party should have been appointed, claiming that the current line-up was biased towards DAP.
DAP has a majority of 19 seats in the 40-member house.
Norlela said if the seats won by PKR, Amanah and PPBM were combined, they would total 18, a formidable number compared to DAP.
However, Chow said if combined with Amanah and PPBM, DAP too would have a “formidable majority” of 23 seats.
“If I were to use your argument, DAP would have a bigger majority once combined with Amanah and PPBM members.
“Since you did the math of 18 PKR seats plus four more seats, I say DAP’s 19 seats should be combined with four seats from Amanah and PPBM,” he said, adding that Amanah and PPBM could also be said to be “closer” to DAP.
“If I were to use your justification, the prime minister should also come from the party with the highest number of seats in Parliament,” he added.
“But this was a decision by the Pakatan Harapan leadership which we respect,” he said during the question and answer session at the state assembly today.
He was responding to Norlela’s query on why some assembly members were not included in the 30 committees set up by the state executive councillors.
For instance, she said, representatives whose constituencies were affected by the floods were not given a chance to be part of the state flood mitigation committee.
She had referred to the alleged imbalance in state executive councillors during a follow-up question, saying this was similarly seen in the make-up of the 30 committees.
However, Chow said the committees were formed based on portfolios such as flood mitigation and youth and sports, with membership limited to five assembly members.
In Norlela’s case, he said, her membership in the flood mitigation committee or any other committee would depend on the vacancy.
“We can consider adding more assembly members to committees that are already full, as long as you provide us with a good reason why you should be added.”