BN Senator says won’t block govt Bills in upper house, will remain non-partisan

Ram Anand
Khairul Azwan Harun addresses a press conference in Kuala Lumpur June 21, 2018. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Barisan Nasional (BN) senator Khairul Azwan Harun today said he would not block or vote out Bills proposed by Putrajaya for the sake of being an Opposition lawmaker in the upper house, and instead said he would be non-partisan and vote on Bills on a case-by-case basis.

The Umno Youth vice chief, who is vying for the wing’s top post in party elections on June 30, however, reiterated that he would not resign as a senator nor can he be removed as one by the new government.

Despite Pakatan Harapan winning federal power in the 14th general elections, the defeated BN still has a majority in the upper house, where a majority of members were appointed at the recommendation of previous prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The senators have a fixed three-year tenure before the new government can make its own appointments, and Khairul Azwan said that his term only expires in December 2019.

“I’m not like that (opposing for the sake of opposing). I will remain non-partisan and I will look at the Bills before voting on them. I will also meet with government representatives if I can,” he said during a press conference today.

Forty-four of the 70 senators in the upper house are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the recommendation of the prime minister.

Meanwhile, Khairul Azwan said that if he wins his bid to be Umno Youth chief, he would donate 50 per cent of his senator salary to the party’s Youth wing to help with its finances.