Opposition MPs say not enough time for debate on new Speaker

14 Jul 2020 / 20:00 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The opposition independent bloc led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as well as Pakatan Harapan today claimed that not enough time was given for the debate on yesterday’s motion in the Dewan Rakyat calling for Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof to vacate the seat of Speaker.

Dr Mahathir, who is the MP for Langkawi, and the other five MPs in his bloc, said in a statement that the opposition was also denied the right to nominate a candidate for Speaker when the 14-day notice was not given to fill the post that became vacant yesterday.

They also claimed that after Nga Kor Ming resigned as a deputy speaker yesterday, a 14-day notice should have been given for that post to be filled as well.

The statement was issued by Dr Mahathir along with Jerlun MP Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir; Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman; Simpang Renggam MP Dr Maszlee Malik; Kubang Pasu MP Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah and Sri Gading MP Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh.

The Dewan Rakyat approved the motion to have Mohamad Ariff vacate the seat of Speaker after bloc voting saw 111 votes for and 109 votes against the motion. Kota Marudu MP Datuk Seri Maximus Johnity Ongkili did not attend the Dewan Rakyat sitting as he was on medical leave and one MP abstained.

Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was elected as a deputy speaker to fill the post vacated by Nga.

The Pakatan Harapan secretariat expressed regret over the debate on the motion to have the Speaker vacate his seat, saying only four MPs were allowed to speak and each was given just 10 minutes.

“For a historic motion like this, more time should have been allocated to fully hear the arguments from both sides (of the divide),“ it said in a statement issued by PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail; Amanah secretary-general Datuk Dr Hatta Ramli and DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook. - Bernama

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