Speaker Tells MPs to Behave or Lose Their Mic

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Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof today warned MPs to follow orders in the hall or to face the consequences, including having their microphones removed from their places.

This comes after Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) refused to leave the hall despite being suspended for two days last Thursday.

The issue was raised by Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Bahru), who asked Ariff why Tajuddin’s microphone was missing.

“He is not here today. But the mic has been taken away although his chair is still here,” said Takiyuddin who then asked if this had been done on the speaker’s orders.

Ariff affirmed this, adding that MPs should leave the hall when asked to do so.

Although acknowledging that this is a petty issue, Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Bharu) said it is shameful for the speaker to do something that is not in compliance with the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat.

“We are seeing the microphone of Pasir Salak (MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman) removed from his table,” he said during the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

“I am seeking your advice if the speaker himself instructed the removal of the microphone? Is it the new practice of the speaker or the government?” the PAS secretary-general asked.

He questioned how this could be done when the Standing Orders were silent about taking away the microphone of any member of the House.

Ariff admitted he gave instructions for Tajuddin’s microphone to be taken away.

Raja Faisal Hishan/The Star

“If the honourable (MP) can give assurance that (the MPs) will go out after having been told so, then there will be no removal of the microphone,” he said.

The speaker also said he has the discretion to make such a ruling, and that not all rulings are listed in black and white.

“This was based on discretion. Not all matters are related to the written (Standing Orders). Just like (the speaker) instructing a Member of Parliament to sit down,” he said.

Disagreeing, Takiyuddin said the move must be based on the Standing Orders.

“This is shameful of the Parliament. Is this the place we uphold the independence of the House?” said Takiyuddin.

Ariff replied: “If anyone is stubborn, then (his or her) microphone will be removed again.”

He also said such orders applied to MPs from both sides of the divide, denying that he was targeting the opposition.