Chaos in Dewan Rakyat as sitting cut short

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The Dewan Rakyat descended into chaos this evening, with proceedings abruptly halted, after the government’s motion to extend the 28-day detention without trial clause in the controversial Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) for five more years was defeated.

Opposition MPs protested loudly when the house was abruptly adjourned, and the tabling of a few bills postponed, following the defeat of the government motion.

Home minister Hamzah Zainudin’s motion to extend the provision on the maximum 28-day detention without trial period under Sosma for another five years had earlier gone for a bloc vote.

The vote was necessary because this provision must be renewed by both houses of Parliament every five years to remain valid.

However, the motion failed as 86 MPs voted against it while 84 voted for it. The remaining 50 MPs were absent when the vote was taken.


“The motion is not approved,” said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun, prompting chants of “Long live the people” and “Resign, Hamzah” from the opposition benches.

Following the defeat, deputy law minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin moved a motion for proceedings to be adjourned and for the scheduled bills to be tabled and debated tomorrow, prompting shouts of protest from opposition MPs.

Nga Kor Ming (PH-Teluk Intan) and Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah) were among those who stood up to protest against the sudden decision to adjourn the tabling of the bills and debate.

RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) said: “We want to vote and we want to debate. Table (the bills) now, we want to debate today.”

Mas Ermieyati’s motion was supported by deputy human resources minister Awang Hashim and agreed upon by a voice vote.

“There are more voices in favour, so the motion is passed,” Azhar announced to further shouts of protest from opposition MPs, with Cha saying it was a historic day as a government bill had failed to be passed.

As the protests continued, Azhar muted the microphones of MPs and the live stream was also cut. – FMT