Kuala Lumpur, Aug 9 : Malaysian Unity and Culture Minister Mohamad Shafie Apdal was elected Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association here today.
Apdal backed by India and others won a total of 152 out of 255 votes polled in comparison to the 102 bagged by his rival, Lord Swraj Paul, who was supported by Britain and Canada. One vote was declared invalid.
Apdal described his election as the head of the CPA, which has15,000 members and covers 177 branches, as an honour.
When the results were announced, Lord Paul hugged the Malaysian Minister and termed the election a good one. He said the United Kingdom would extend full support to the CPA.
Prior to the election, the Speaker of the Indian Parliament, Somnath Chatterjee rebutted a British delegation charge that India and Malaysia were involved in shocking deals. He said the British comments were not in good taste.
Referring to a statement by Hugh Bayley about deals being struck between the Indians and Malaysians three years ago, when West Bengal Speaker H A Halim was elected Chairman, Chatterjee said it showed that agony was still felt somewhere.