Former Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof has refuted Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan’s remarks over his apparent acceptance of the prime minister’s motion to remove him from the post.
Takiyuddin, who was once Mohamad Ariff’s student as a law undergraduate, told Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo in the Lower House today that the said motion was accepted by Mohd Ariff because it was in order.
“There is no imperfection to this motion. Not at all, based on the Federal Constitution and the Standing Orders. It is clear. What more is there to question?” Takiyuddin told Gobind, who had opposed the motion as being illegitimate.
However, Mohamad Ariff begged to differ, adding that as Speaker, he accepted motions which “on their face” are in order.
“Unfortunately, YB Takiyuddin is wrong. As Speaker, I accepted motions, which on their face, are in order. Whether or not a motion is constitutional, regular, irregular, unlawful or what have you, will have to be decided on the floor of the House. That is the convention which we all are supposed to adhere to in the Westminster system.
“So, I’m afraid I have to disagree with the minister. If I had not accepted the motion, the story would have been different.
“I made it a point to accept these motions, because they are regular on their face. If you read any of the books, they state the same principle, and I have been saying all this while we go by the book, we go by the rules. There is nothing very magical about it.
“I look at the motion and I say it looks regular, so I accept it. I cannot say no, this is not politically correct. I refuse. I have no such powers,” he added.
The Dewan Rakyat had today approved a motion to remove Mohamad Ariff as Speaker, with 111 yays to 109 nays.
Opposition MPs had earlier called for bloc voting to decide the motion tabled by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Malay Mail was informed that Kota Marudu MP Datuk Seri Maximus Johnity Ongkili was absent for medical reasons, while another vote belonged to Deputy Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon, who was unable to cast his vote as he was presiding over the meeting.
Earlier, the debate over the motion had extended into lunch hour, as per de facto Parliamentary Affairs Minister Takiyuddin’s proposal under Standing Order 12 (1).
In his parting speech to the media today, Mohamad Ariff also expressed hope that his successor would carry on the parliamentary reforms that he had kick-started.
“The reforms we did weren’t done because we wanted to. Those reforms we felt were very necessary to preserve the system, to place the Parliament where the Parliament should really be. A place for people to respect, a place where there is dignity, there is decorum, and people have high regards for constitutional principles, for the rule of law and they will be paid accordingly,” he said, adding that the reform agenda is not yet fulfilled, but the committee system has been set in place which he says must be preserved to make the Malaysian Parliament an internationally respected one. – MMO