Yang di-Pertuan Agong opens the first meeting of the third term of the 12th Parliament today. Seating arrangements were finalised much earlier to accommodate changes resulting from few defections of the PKR MPs.
Things to observe this time around are:
1. Will Anwar Ibrahim remains as the Opposition Leader since the party no longer holds majority on the Opposition bench? DAP has 28 seats now compared to PKR's 26 and PAS' 23. Although DAP and PAS said Anwar may continue, there was already some pressure for him to handover the baton to Lim Kit Siang.
2. As the number of Independents rose from 1 to 7, will they bring impact on the debates to take place? Will they lean towards the government or the other side?
3. Should there be more defections by any of the Opposition MPs, what will be the outcome of the Dewan Rakyat session when a 'defector' who opposes a Bill suddenly says yes the very next day? Rumors are rife about 10 more potential defects.
4. Will former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi turns up as he is still the legitimate MP for Kepala Batas? What about Rafidah Aziz and other MPs dropped from Najib's lineup?
5. Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, suspended for 12 months in March last year will be back. Will he create 'troubles' again?
6. The much said ISA amendment is ready. Will the Bill pass through to the Dewan Negara with the help of Barisan Nasional MPs. Remember when they almost lost the Budget when most of them failed to turn up last year?
7. How many of the 222 MPs will 'ponteng' most without any valid reason?
8. Problems in the PKR will get to the Parliament. Will there also be another move to push a motion for Anwar's trial be canceled and all charges dropped?
9. Will Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia and his deputies able to control the seatings without much hiccups like last year?
10. How fast and successful will the Parliament pass and adopt any new Bills and Laws this time around without having to go for extra time?