PN Reconvenes Melaka State Assembly After Appointing Own Speaker, Without Opposition

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Chaotic morning that saw reps quarrelling and Umno chief Ab Rauf Yusof appointed new speaker without opposition assemblymen in attendance.

The commotion started around 10am when Sungai Udang state assemblyman Datuk Seri Idris Harun from BN wanted to bring out a motion to remove Speaker Omar Jaafar on the grounds that PH no longer commands the majority.

Verbal insults and books were allegedly thrown around by Perikatan Nasional (PN) politicians, which led to the sitting adjourned by Omar, who is aligned to Pakatan Harapan.

The Melaka state assembly reconvened after PN representatives voted in state Umno chief Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh on their own as the new Speaker.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

Malay daily Berita Harian reported that Ab Rauf’s appointment was made during the assembly which was chaired by Datuk Wira Ghazale Muhamad (BN-Rim).

The report said Ab Rauf was elected after receiving the support of 16 of the 17 National Alliance (PN) state assemblymen, while all Opposition representatives were absent.

The proposal was read out by Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Sulaiman Md Ali and supported by Datuk Seri Abd Ghafaar Atan (BN-Asahan).

Meanwhile, Ayer Keroh State Assemblyman Kerk Chee Yee said that the PN government prevented Omar from reading a prayer which was the first agenda of the sitting.

He also said that some assemblymen threw a book towards the speaker and caused chaos in the hall which led Omar to adjourn the sitting twice.

“The new state government of Malacca should respect the constitution and hierarchy of the State Assembly and respect the ultimate power of the speaker as long as the speaker is no longer altered through the process provided.

“Proposal about Covid-19 should be tabled and debated. This issue is about our society and our economy,” he posted in on his Facebook page.

Only “government media” was allowed to cover the sitting through another televised room while all other journalists were not allowed.

Malaysiakini reported Malacca state assembly deputy speaker Wong Fort Pin as saying the media ban at today’s sitting was unprecedented.

“Why is there a need to ban the media? Whose idea is it? This reflects badly upon the one who ordered it.

“The media plays a vital role in democracy…unprecedented!” he said as reported by Malaysiakini.

State assembly officials cited the Covid-19 pandemic for the media ban and only an in-house team from the state Chief Minister’s Department will be allowed to shoot the sitting.

However, the Chief Minister’s Office later negotiated to allow only government press agencies to cover the sitting.

The Malacca state assembly has a total of 28 seats.

PN controls the assembly after the PH state government’s fall on March 2 following the defection of two assemblymen.