KUALA LUMPUR — Negeri Sembilan Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairman Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim was among the five individuals sworn in as senators before the Senate president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran at Dewan Negara today.
All of them were appointed upon the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
The other four were former Home Minister Tan Sri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad, head of PAS Supporters Club N Balasubramaniam, and former Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s political secretary Muhammad Zahid Md Arip.
The Senate now has 70 members, 26 of whom were state appointees, while 44 others were appointed by the King, including three to represent the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan.
The senators are appointed for a term of three years and can only be reappointed once.
Meanwhile, speaking to the media, Rais said among his missions is to make the Senate, which is one of the components of the highest legislative body of the country, a good example to the people.
“I think it would be good if the image of the Senate is changed to a highly intellectual assembly…building the nation not through harsh words, but through an exemplary image that could help shape the future generations.
“We have no time to do flip flop, all senators should develop a common determination to strengthen the government and to give the people the opportunity to see that the Senate is actually higher than the Dewan Rakyat in so many aspects,” he said.
Meanwhile, Idris said as a senator, he would want to see more priority to be given to people’s agenda, and less to political games.
“We realise that the people need assurance to have food to eat, to live a peaceful life, so we don’t want to portray that politicians care too preoccupied in politics while they (the people) are struggling to make ends meet,” he said.