KUALA LUMPUR: Members of the Senate need to be polite every time they speak and debate despite having differences of opinion, said Senate president Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim.
In his inaugural address as president of the Senate, Rais said this was because the conversation of Senate members were watched by the people and it will be an example, especially to the young people.
“Ask ourselves, are we courteous, do we mind our words when debating, do we respect the system and do we use good language? Can our language be emulated by our children?” he said when speaking after taking the oath of office as president of the Senate here, today.
He said every member of the Senate has got a professional background and this should be reflected in their words uttered while in the august house.
Rais said although his election as the president of the Senate had some opposition, he hoped that it would not pose any future problem.
He also thanked Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and members of the august House who placed their trust on him in carrying out this responsibility.
In a ballot election to determine the 18th president of the Senate this morning, Rais got 45 votes while another candidate Senator Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff got 19 votes while one candidate was absent.
Meanwhile, in a press conference, Rais said he wanted the Parliamentary Service Act 1963 to be looked into for Parliament to be a strong entity without interference from other jurisdictions — the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary.
He also reminded the members of the august House not to play personal politics when the Senate convenes instead, prioritise matters related to the people and the development of the country.
Commenting on an issue raised by a senator who asked him to quit Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), Rais replied that there was no reason for him to do so.
“There is no reason for me to resign… even my position in the party is mainly as an adviser. Former president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran who is the MIC president also did not resign, so the matter is not relevant to me,” he said.
In the meantime, he also thanked the Umno leadership who also supported him for Senate president.
“Although they also had a candidate from their own party, but at the last minute they seem to have confidence in me and supported me,” he said. – Bernama