Ngeh: Dewan Rakyat Speaker must explain why he is bending the rules

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Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun has been urged to explain why Standing Order 11(1), 11(2), and 14 were not complied with for the upcoming sitting on July 26.

In a statement yesterday evening, Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham explained the coming sitting will be the first of the fourth session for the 14th Parliament.

“Year 2021 is the fourth session of the Dewan Rakyat for the 14th Parliament after a general election.

Bernama

“Under Standing Order 11(1), a proclamation for the first sitting for each session must be made by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Was it made?” asked Ngeh.

He also questioned why the 28 days’ notice to convene Parliament as required under Standing Order 11(2) was not complied with.

Ngeh said the notice only appeared on July 15, thereby the notice period was only 10 days.

Under Standing Order 14, the order of business for each sitting includes messages from the Agong, minister’s question time, questions to ministers, motion on matters of urgent public importance, before statements by ministers, and presentation of government bills.

So far, the agenda for the sitting that has been distributed to MPs stated that there will be five days of ministerial statements only.

Ngeh was responding to a statement by Azhar who chided the Pakatan Harapan presidential council for ignoring Standing Order 11(3).

According to Azhar, Standing Order 11(3) explicitly states that the prime minister has to decide the business for special Dewan Rakyat sittings.

“I am bewildered and puzzled. With the collective number of years Harapan has had in the Parliament as MPs and even as part of the government, and with a stellar line-up of well-known legal practitioners in its stable, it doesn’t appear to understand or even know the Standing Orders very well.

“I would like to implore the Harapan presidential council to stop this politics of hate through subtle and surreptitious misinformation as well as false narrative,” said Azhar.

Ngeh, a three-term lawmaker and once a speaker of the Perak state legislative assembly, said Azhar had erred in his interpretation of Standing Order 11(3) in isolation.

“It is not an independent provision giving the prime minister or the speaker powers to override the provisions of Standing Order 11(1) and 11(2).

“It is the duty of Azhar as the Dewan Rakyat speaker to chair the Dewan Rakyat sittings in accordance with the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders, the laws governing Parliament, and the Federal Constitution, and to ensure that Parliament functions properly and effectively,” said Ngeh. – Malaysiakini