KUALA LUMPUR: A motion to replace Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof was carried with 111 MPs voting to support the motion while 109 voted against it.
The MPs voted on the motion to replace the Speaker after Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law Minister) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan put forward the motion to extend Parliament’s sitting beyond 1pm to allow voting to go ahead.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had put forward the motion to remove the Speaker because there is another candidate.
Earlier, pandemonium broke out in the Dewan Rakyat when the motion to remove Mohamad Ariff was put forward.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim asked Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon to rule whether the motion was valid but he refused to do so.
Mohd Rashid said he would be sticking to his decision to allow four people, two from the government backbenchers and two from the opposition, to debate the motion for 10 minutes each.
MPs from both sides of the divide continued to interject and shout at each other as the motion was being debated.
MPs also made snide remarks about each other as well as those who had been appointed by the former Pakatan Harapan government to head government agencies.
Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas was referred to as “RocknRoll” Tommy Thomas whilst the former head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Lateffah Koya was called La Toya.
Anwar said removing a Speaker is a big issue and not just a technical one.
“There is no reason why we should limit it to two people and limit the time,” Anwar said, adding that this is the first time in history such a motion has been tabled.
He said Muhyiddin did not provide any justification for Ariff’s removal, such as any wrongdoing, and labelled Ariff’s service as excellent.
He pointed out that Ariff had formed select committees which was never done before.
The Port Dickson MP at the same time criticised the performance of the presiding speaker Mohd Rashid, who he said was unable to answer questions raised by MPs pertaining to the motion to replace the Dewan Rakyat Speaker.
DAP Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo raised Point of Order 3 and 4 from the Standing Orders, pointing out that a new Speaker can only be appointed after the Parliament’s dissolution or should there be a vacancy of any sort.
He said nomination of a new candidate is not valid unless the said position is vacant.
“We in the Opposition want to know where the vacancy is? If there is no vacancy, the suggestion cannot be made. This is a basic procedure,” he said.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also criticised the government’s move to replace the Speaker, saying the position should remain neutral.
He said there was no reason or need to replace the Speaker as tabled by Muhyiddin.
Law minister Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Bharu) however said Muhyiddin had on June 16 forwarded the motion which was approved by the speaker.
He said this motion is based on the constitution which is the highest law of the land.