After tasting “lobsters”, it makes perfect sense why Speaker Azhar behaved extraordinarily in Parliament, profusely defending Finance Minister Zafrul who struggled in the Parliament.
The Speaker’s official role is to moderate debate, makes rulings on procedure, announces the results of votes and decides who may speak in the House of Parliament. The Speaker also has the powers to discipline members who break the rules and procedures of the House. As the chief officer of the House, the Speaker must remain politically impartial at all times.
But Azhar Azizan Harun, popularly known as Art Harun, is fast becoming the worst Speaker of the House. Perhaps it’s because he is a backdoor Speaker bulldozed to the position by a backdoor government. You can’t expect a backdoor Speaker to do his job professionally, let alone to remain politically impartial, can you? Well, the fake social activist has done it again.
Art Harun had already shown his true colour just hours after he was “illegally” made the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat (Lower House of Parliament) on 13 July, 2020 – without any vote. He was supposed to discipline UMNO MP, Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, for spewing racist remarks by insulting the skin colour of MP Kasthurirani, who is of Indian ethnicity.
Instead, the backdoor Speaker Azhar closed one-eye and ignored the racism right under his nose. After all, how could he punish Abdul Azeez, his new buddy, despite the crooked “Mamak” having been slapped with corruption charges involving RM144.6 million? Some ignorant fools said the new speaker should be forgiven on his first day of the job.
On Thursday (August 6), Speaker Azhar did something spectacular. As arguments broke in the House over the US$3.9 billion settlement deal between the backdoor Perikatan Nasional government and Goldman Sachs, Speaker Azhar jumped to Zafrul Abdul Aziz’s defence after the incompetent finance minister struggled to justify the bad deal he had made.
The incompetent Finance Minister Zafrul, easily outwitted by Goldman Sachs to settle for a pittance US$3.9 billion in the 1MDB theft, tried to point fingers at former Attorney General Tommy Thomas. Zafrul, supposedly an experienced technocrat, was extremely upset when the Opposition grilled him on the matter, painting him as a sucker who was tricked like a fool at the negotiation table.
All hell broke loose when former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng asked his successor whether the US$3.9 billion settlement (consisting of US$2.5 billion cash and US$1.4 billion in guarantees) had been discussed and approved by the Muhyiddin Cabinet. There was debate about the US$1.4 billion guarantees because the proceeds from assets would be returned only over a period of five years.
However, before Zafrul could answer, the backdoor Speaker Azhar unexpectedly came to the finance minister’s defence, saying – “This is a decision by the finance ministry and it would surely have been brought to the Cabinet.” Zafrul then replied that the Cabinet had given the power to Attorney-General Idrus Harun – who happens to be the Speaker’s brother – to seek a solution.
It appeared that the argument between Zafrul and Lim had gotten under the Speaker’s skin. Azhar’s over-reaction suggests that he was probably very emotional as it involved his brother. He was supposed to moderate a debate in the Lower House of Parliament, not participate in the debate himself and in the process making him look like a defender of the government.
Lim then claimed it was “extraordinary” as the huge amount of settlement should have been discussed in the Cabinet. He said – “This should have been approved by the cabinet. Why wasn’t it? It cannot be decided by one or two people. This is the same case as 1MDB where one person made the decision. This is an issue of accountability and transparency.”
The statements from Lim had gotten some government MPs, especially Azeez Abdul Rahim and Noh Omar, incredibly upset and riled up. Again, Speaker Azhar sprang into action and defended his political master. On behalf of the backdoor government, the backdoor Speaker said – “The negotiating team has been given the mandate by the cabinet. The cabinet would surely ratify it.”
When Lim protested, arguing that it would mean the cabinet had not approved the deal, the despicable Speaker Azhar again came to the government’s defence – “That is the procedure. That is a normal procedure.” Clearly the Speaker’s reaction of overly defending the Perikatan Nasional government, when he should have remained neutral, is jaw-dropping.
The Speaker’s new role of being more pro-government than government MPs themselves (like Azeez Abdul Rahim and Noh Omar) speaks volumes about his true colour. In fact, it’s safe to say Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun is actually worse than previously despised former Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia. And the new speaker is not even an MP.
At least, Pandikar was a politician – a member of UMNO – so it’s easier to understand why he was pro-government during the era of the previous corrupt Barisan Nasional regime. He was infamously and hilariously known as the speaker who had threatened to resign in 2015 after he complained of lack of new furniture – and toilet – in his office (he finally got his private toilet).
But even Pandikar as an UMNO member did not demonstrate the level of desperation shown by Azhar in defending the government. Azhar, on the other hand, is not a member of any political party, but is a lawyer by training and was a long-time social activist. Perhaps these photos are able to explain why he has decided to join the bandwagon of crooks.
In photos that went viral, several top politicians of the Muhyiddin government were showing their thumbs up for a lunch that cost more than RM6,000. The luxurious lunch included lobsters (RM2,785), fried kerai (RM1,950), fried chicken (RM560), gulai patin tempoyak (RM980), ulam and sambal (RM75), and mixed vege (RM175). Opposition MP P Prabakaran has demanded an explanation for the lavish meal.
However, there’s more to the ridiculously expensive lunch than meets the eye. Those VIPs who were enjoying the lobsters were Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Senior Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun, Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, Tanjung Karang MP Noh Omar, Arau MP Shahidan Kassim, and Padang Terap MP Mahdzir Khalid.
Yes, despite having plundered Tabung Haji (Hajj Pilgrims Fund) to bail out 1MDB under the previous Najib Razak regime, the backdoor PM Muhyiddin was happily lunching with crooks like Abdul Azeez. Surprisingly, the newly bulldozed Speaker Art Harun was one of the lucky men gorging lobsters while tens of thousands of people struggle to put food on the table after losing their jobs due to Covid-19.
After tasting “lobsters”, it makes perfect sense why Speaker Azhar behaved extraordinarily in Parliament, profusely defending Finance Minister Zafrul who struggled in the Parliament. Azhar was not even an elected MP, but just an appointed Speaker. Yet, his misconduct has been absolutely breathtaking. One can only imagine what he is capable of doing if he joins UMNO and becomes an MP. – Finance Twitter