Opposition lawmakers have slammed Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon for using technical reasons to reject motions to remove house Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun as the speaker of the house.
They criticised Rashid for using made-up and inconsistent excuses.
PKR’s Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said his motion was rejected on the ground that it did not comply with the notice period in accordance with rule 27 of the Dewan Rakyat standing orders.
Amanah’s Pulai MP Salahuddin Ayub’s motion was also rejected by Rashid. Although it complied with rule 27 of the standing orders, it supposedly failed on other grounds.
“We realise there is a game being played by the speaker and the deputy speaker in relation to the former’s removal.
“There have been many excuses and tricks that are being used to prevent the motion from being raised,” Fahmi told The Malaysian Insight.
Last week, Azhar in a statement said he will not handle the motions for his removal, and that he has delegated the task to deputy Rashid due to a conflict of interest.
Azhar was appointed to the post after Muhyiddin Yassin became the prime minister in March last year, under the Perikatan Nasional administration.
Rashid is an MP from Muhyiddin’s party Bersatu.
The second deputy speaker’s position is currently vacant following the resignation of Umno MP Azalina Othman Said last month.
“No matter what reasons we give them, they will find a way to reject the motion,” Fahmi added.
This, he said, was very different from when former Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof received a motion to vacate his post when Perikatan took over as government in February 2021.
“Ariff’s maturity is clearly different from what we are seeing today.
“He may not have been present when the motion was tabled, but he did not avoid facing the motion for his removal,” Fahmi said.
Meanwhile, Salahuddin said he will raise another motion for Azhar’s removal as the grounds for rejection was technical.
“I will raise the matter again when Parliament convenes (next week),” he said.
Salahuddin had sent two motions on August 13 and August 16 for Azhar to be removed as speaker. Both were rejected by Rashid via letters dated August 15 and August 25, which were sighted by The Malaysian Insight.
The motion on August 13 was rejected on the basis that there were no provisions for the removal of the speakers under rule 4(1) of the standing orders.
The August 16 motion was rejected on the grounds that it was not accurate and did not refer to the correct legal provisions.
Salahuddin said Rashid’s moves are part of his efforts to block the tabling of the motions in Parliament.
“These are just excuses by the speaker to reject our motion. Morally, Azhar should have vacated his seat as his argument (on the emergency ordinances) was wrong,” he said, referring to the speaker’s stance on the previous government’s withdrawal of the emergency ordinances, which was done without tabling them in Parliament.
On July 29, the Agong issued a statement that he had not consented to the revocation of the emergency ordinances and that Muhyiddin’s government had done so without going through the right process.
The Agong said he was “greatly saddened” by the statement by then law minister Takiyuddin Hassan that the government had repealed all the ordinances.
Takiyuddin announced on July 26 that the emergency ordinances had been revoked on July 21, and thus it was unnecessary to debate them in Parliament.
He also refused to explain whether the revocation was consented to by the Agong.
Opposition lawmakers had accused Azhar of being callous and for neglecting his duties as the speaker when he refused to direct the government to give an explanation.
Rashid refused to comment on the matter when contacted by The Malaysian Insight, saying that he will only reply to the individuals who have filed the motions.
“You are not an MP, I will only answer to the individual who has brought the motion, and I can’t reveal the names (of the lawmakers). This is a parliamentary matter, sorry,” he said. – TMI