Speaker accused of lying to avoid vote on motions

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Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun has been accused of lying over a decision to reject four motions filed by Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham.

On July 23, Azhar wrote to Ngeh to explain that the motions – all in regard to the annulment of emergency ordinances – were rejected on three grounds:

  1. That the meeting agenda was set by the prime minister in accordance with Standing Order 13.
  2. That the motions were not filed under the correct Standing Order.
  3. That the motions did not fulfil Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution.

Ngeh replied to all four rejection letters on July 26, arguing that he was invoking Standing Order 43 to compel the House to decide on his appeal by means of voting.

Following this, Azhar replied on July 30, arguing that the rejection of the four motions was “bukan berlandaskan kepada keputusan saya sebagai Tuan Yang di-Pertuan” (not based on my decision as the speaker).

Malaysiakini

In a recent statement, Ngeh said the correspondences showed that Azhar was “openly” lying.

“After his decisions to reject my motions (on July 23), I have, under Standing Order 43, filed my motions and appeals to the Dewan Rakyat to have his decisions overturned.

“In order to deny me the right of appeal and to avoid a vote to be taken with regard to my motions, he has now turned around to say he has not made any decision to reject my motions.

“Azhar has openly lied and has lost his credibility and integrity,” he said.

Bernama

This incident, said Ngeh, added to the list of Azhar’s alleged wrongdoings in handling the Dewan Rakyat proceedings.

“He is reminded that no one is above the law. Section 124B of the Penal Code provides that whoever commits an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 20 years while Section 124C of the Penal Code provides that attempts to commit an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 15 years,” said Ngeh, who is a practising lawyer.

Ngeh’s rejected motions had sought the annulment of:

  1. Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 – A wide-ranging law allowing the government to seize private property, granting additional powers to the armed forces, suspending elections, and suspending legislatures.
  2. Emergency (Essential Powers) (No 2) Ordinance 2021 – law dealing with “fake news”.
  3. Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 – allows a penalty of up to RM100,000 and seven years jail for breaching Covid-19 protocol.

He argued that these laws had to be annulled through Parliament to fulfil Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution.

This is a position also held by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

On July 26, de facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan told Parliament that this process was not necessary as the cabinet had already “revoked” the said laws.

Eventually, Putrajaya relented and promised that the annulment process will take place when Parliament reconvenes in September. – Malaysiakini