MPs shocked by vicious attacks against speaker

Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun. Source: Election Commission of Malaysia

KUCHING, July 21: Four Members of Parliament (MP) were shocked by recent attacks against Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, following the latter’s constitutional appointment.

Bandar Tun Razak MP Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar, Segamat MP Datuk Seri Dr Edmund Santhara, Saratok MP Ali Biju and Ranau MP Jonathan Yassin, in a joint press statement today, said the personal attacks and childish rants coming from the opposition bench last week, played out in full view of Malaysians who have been taught to respect our parliamentary system, are symptoms of a larger malaise of political dementia affecting these MPs.

“We are appalled by the behaviour of these Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs last week. We are also puzzled by the claims and baseless allegations being repeated by a section of these MPs, in their rush to question Azhar’s credentials.

“The public saw for themselves a total absence of decorum when opposition MPs indulged in name-calling and shouting to disrupt Azhar during his oath taking,” the statement said.

Among others, it is claimed that Azhar’s appointment was not put to vote.

The statement added that PH MPs were either ignorant or deliberately chose to sideline Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Order 4(3), which clearly states that: “If only one member or person be so proposed and seconded as Yang di-Pertua, he shall be declared by the Setiausaha without question put, to have been elected.”

The four MPs also pointed that it was this very rule which the PH MPs adhered to in naming Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as the speaker in June 2018, as he was the only candidate for the post.

“Yet, the then-opposition MPs had chosen to respect Ariff’s oath-taking despite their initial protests, unlike the vile, repulsive and odious behaviour shown by some of the PH MPs when Azhar took oath last week.

“May we also remind those who are too eager to discredit Azhar and question his well-known non-partisanship, that this was the same individual they had put their trust in to lead one of the nation’s most important institutions of democracy, the Election Commission.

“We call upon PH leaders to play their role as opposition members responsibly. After all, when they were in the government, many PH MPs had openly claimed they had no qualms reverting to the opposition bench, having been used to such a role for decades,” the statement said.—DayakDaily