BN should accord due respect to the opposition before demanding that it name its shadow cabinet, says constitutional expert Abdul Aziz Bari.

This, he said, includes respecting all rules pertaining to parliamentary proceedings and to give the opposition leaders all the rights and privileges that go along with the post.

NONEHe was responding to Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin (left) who had urged Pakatan Rakyat to name its shadow cabinet.

“Khairy as a member of the government should make sure that it plays a vital part in laying the foundation for a functioning of the two-party system,” said Abdul Aziz in a statement today.

He pointed out that Pakatan has led by example in states it rules by allowing the state opposition to head the Public Accounts Committee, but BN had refused to take up the position.

“Here, Khairy has other things to do - make sure that Umno plays a positive role as the opposition in the state,” he said.

He added, Khairy should instead also "go public to defend the right of Perkasa Youth chief (Irwan Fahmi Ideris) to urge PM Najib to resign".

"That is more urgent and fundamental than asking Pakatan Rakyat to form shadow cabinet," he said. 

PAS Youth 'naive' 

Abdul Aziz also criticised PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan as “naive” for first raising about the shadow cabinet without understanding other prerequisites for a two-party system.

azlanHe said a free press and willingness to debate are among the prerequisites, which the ruling coalition is not keen on.

Furthermore, he said the government must ensure the Registrar of Societies stop delaying the registration of Pakatan Rakyat and the Election Commission must ensure free and fair elections.

“There is no point asking the opposition to form a shadow cabinet when the government keeps running away from public debate with the former.

“And here we are talking about (Prime Minister) Najib Abdul Razak taking on (Opposition Leader) Anwar Ibrahim, not Khairy or (Communications and Multimedia Minister) Shabery Cheek,” he said.

Ultimately, Abdul Aziz said Khairy, who is also Youth and Sports Minister, is putting the cart before the bullock.-