By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, July 13: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has welcomed the election of former Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun as the 10th Dewan Rakyat Speaker today.
He added that the way Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers behaved during Parliament sitting was a mockery of democracy in the country as they make ‘a zoo of our Lower House’
“PH are sore losers. Azhar Harun was legitimately elected by the Parliament, albeit by razor thin majority. Opposition lawmakers make a zoo of our Lower House. What an embarrassment,” Masing said here today.
He believed that Azhar or fondly called Art will be fair in discharging his duty as a Speaker
“Art Harun should be a good and fair Speaker. Being the former chairman of EC who was tasked to oversee a fair general election, which he did and did it very well.
“As such, I’m sure he will apply the same spirit of being fair and the same attitude of ensuring that Malaysian law makers behave themselves while formulating laws to safeguard our nation.
“And I’m sure he will not tolerate our Parliament to be treated like as a fish market where quality of debate is judged by the volume of one’s voice, nor by the antics of animals in the zoo in attracting visitors to their cages,” added Masing.
Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, praised Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for nominating Art Harun to replace Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.
Azhar, 58, is the sole candidate nominated for the post.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tabled the motion proposing for Azhar to be elected as the new Speaker in accordance with Standing Order 4(1) of the Dewan Rakyat.
It was the second motion he tabled today after the first that called for Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof to vacate his post was passed after 111 MPs voted for and 109 against.
One MP was absent, and another one abstained.
Azhar was appointed as EC chairman on Sept 21, 2018, in place of Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah.
He resigned from the post on June 29.
On a related issue, Masing said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad could not answer a question from Perikatan Nasional (PN) backbenchers as to why he resigned from his post in February.
“He couldn’t answer because he resigned out of anger. Thus, he couldn’t rationalise his move. Therefore, never make any decision when you are angry,” added Masing. —DayakDaily.