Azhar Azizan Harun was installed the new speaker of the Dewan Rakyat without a vote after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin proposed his name.
The decision to invite Azhar as speaker was greeted with derision by the opposition bench, which had expected the matter to be put to a vote.
The opposition wanted the sitting of the House to be suspended for 14 days to allow all MP’s to nominate an alternative candidate.
But Deputy Speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon rejected the request.
Azhar, 58, who recently resigned as Election Commission chairman, took his oath of office amidst shouts of “shame on you” from Opposition MPs who objected to his appointment, after his predecessor, Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, was removed through bloc voting earlier.
As he delivered his inaugural speech, Azhar’s voice was drowned out by contemptuous MPs.
Kasthuriraani Patto (DAP-Batu Kawan) was heard shouting: “Who voted for this speaker? Who voted for this speaker? Where’s the vote?”
The situation reached a boiling point when Azhar ejected Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad from the August House for a day.
“You are suspended till the end of today’s meeting,” Azhar told Khalid.
The ejection restored some order and Azhar continued his speech accepting the position of speaker.
Rashid, who presided over the session, did not vote, while Maximus Ongkili (Kota Marudi-PBS) was absent on sick leave.
After Rashid rejected the opposition’s request to nominate an alternative candidate, he asked Muhyiddin to proceed with Azhar’s nomination.
Muhyiddin’s motion to nominate the former Election Commission chairman states that Azhar has agreed to serve in the post.
MPs then begin shouting over government lawmakers’ arguments that Azhar is the sole candidate for the post and thus did not require a vote.
Azhar sat in the speaker’s chair as opposition MPs continued to protest with shouts of “Backdoor speaker!” and “Speaker haram! (illegitimate)”.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin later moved to rescind a motion to remove Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming following the latter’s resignation and stated that Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was his replacement.
Muhyiddin said her appointment was in accordance with the Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 6(2) read together with Standing Order 4(3).