Thursday May 15, 2008 MYT 6:56:51 PM
Pandikar Amin quits as Kota Marudu Umno div chief
By Muguntan Vanar
KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has tendered his resignation as Kota Marudu Umno division chief 'in the interest of neutrality' of his Dewan Rakyat Speaker's post.
Sources said that he sent his resignation letter to party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Thursday but it was not immediately known if the Prime Minister had accepted it.
It was learnt that he wanted to remain as an ordinary Umno member.
Sources said Pandikar's decision was aimed at divorcing himself from party politics to ensure that the office of the Speaker remained impartial and respected by parties from the government and the opposition.
"It is for the dignity of the House. He does not want to be seen as an active Umno member holding a division chief post.
"He hopes to emulate the late Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tun Zahir Ismail who in his 22 years gained respect by staying away from political positions," one of the sources said.
In interview with The Star prior to his April 28 appointment to the post, Pandikar had said that he would have re-Consider his position as an Umno division chief and did not discount the possibility of him resigning the post in the future.
Asked about a blogsite which stated that his actions could be linked to Parti Keadilan Rakyat's efforts to get 30 or so Umno MPs cross over to Pakatan Rakyat, the sources said it was "ridiculous and mischievous" as Pandikar Amin's resignation was specifically in the interest of the Dewan Rakyat.
They said earlier Thursday, a group of Parti Keadilan Rakyat MPs had paid a courtesy call to Pandikar and that during the meeting, he had impressed on them that he was making every effort to bring respect to the chair, including a move by to resign from his division chairman's post.
Source: The Star