Official recognition of the opposition leader’s position through various provisions is among the changes made by the state government in conjunction with the Perak Legislative Assembly scheduled for August 6 to 13.
State Assembly Speaker Ngeh Koo Ham said among the facilities for the position were an office, official car, two special officers, a driver and additional allowance every month.
“In a democracy, the opposition should not be regarded as an enemy but respected as they play a role that has been set in the democratic system,” he said at the Perak Darul Ridzuan building in Ipoh yesterday.
Ngeh said some changes would be introduced during the coming state legislative assembly, including the extension of the debate and the question-and-answer sessions.
“The opposition leader’s debate session has been extended from 40 minutes to one hour and for assemblymen from 20 to 30 minutes. The question-and-answer session has also been extended from one hour to one-and-a-half hour,” he said.
In addition, Ngeh said the main entrance of the state assembly would be guarded by state security officers and not policemen.
He said the change was necessary to avoid any negative perception that the state assembly was under the supervision and control of the executive agency.
Ngeh, who is also Sitiawan assemblyman, said the media would be given freedom to cover the state assembly.
“The only thing is, it is hoped that media representatives will cooperate with the arrangements made by the secretariat to enable fair coverage.”