Mahathir’s Suit Dismissed, Azhar Stays as Speaker

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Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said remained as Dewan Rakyat Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively after the Kuala Lumpur High Court today ruled that their appointments were valid.

This followed the decision of Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid in allowing the application by Azhar, Azalina, and two others to strike out an origination summons filed against them by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four others to challenge the legitimacy of their appointment.

Ahmad Kamal said that after studying the oral and written submissions of both plaintiff and defendants, he found that the appointments of Azhar Azizan and Azalina were valid and cannot be questioned by the court.

“The first (Azhar Azizan), second (Azalina), third (Mohd Rashid) and fourth (Nizam Mydin) defendants’ originating summons to strike out the application is allowed.

“The court will not set any cost after being satisfied that the issue was indeed of public interest,” he said.

The judge also said that the removal of Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusoff as Speaker was made by way of a resolution carried out by the Dewan Rakyat and the defendants (Azhar and Azalina) were elected to the office by way of a motion that was brought and passed by the Dewan Rakyat.

Counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad and Tania Scivetti represented the defendants while counsel Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla represented Dr Mahathir and the other plaintiffs.

Outside the court, Mohamed Haniff said he would take instructions from his clients whether to appeal against the decision.

On July 13, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s motion to remove Pakatan Harapan-appointed speaker Ariff was passed narrowly, with 111 MPs in support and 109 against it.

Azhar was then appointed as the new speaker without a vote.

At the same time, Azalina was voted in to replace Nga Kor Ming, who resigned earlier in the day in solidarity with Ariff.