Azhar again rejects calls to debate Sulu sultanate claims

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Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun has once again rejected calls to debate the Sulu Sultanate claims in the Lower House.

Debating the matter in Parliament, he argued, could potentially reveal the government’s legal strategies to the contesting party.

“If we discuss this matter in Parliament, we do not know what will be said, and we (could) reveal the government’s strategy.

“Wouldn’t this be against the interest of the government in the litigation process? Do we want to show our strategy to the world?


“The first rule of litigation is the element of surprise, and it is the same for the rule of war. We are defending our country’s sovereignty, so do we want to reveal our strategy?” Azhar said.

He said it was his “responsibility” to prevent any possibility of government strategies to be revealed in such a public space.

Azhar also said he was always ready to chair debates, including one on the Sulu claims, as he wasn’t a career politician.

“I don’t know how to play politics. Standing order 36(2) prohibits MPs from raising matters being considered by the courts,” he added.

Earlier reports:

Jul 19, Kit Siang: MPs must challenge Speaker’s refusal to allow Petronas asset seizure debate

Jul 18, Dewan Rakyat: Ejection order retracted following shouting match over Sulu Sultanate claim (Updated)