Dewan Rakyat sitting adjourns for the day

- Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: As the Dewan Rakyat convenes for its first full sitting since the Perikatan Nasional government came into power in March, all eyes are on Parliament for what is expected to be a heated session Monday (July 13).

Among the motions that are expected to be hotly debated is one from Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof and Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming to vacate their positions to be replaced by former Election Commission chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, respectively.

The opposition bloc has stressed that they will reject the motion to replace the Speaker and his Deputy.

Muhyiddin will also be moving a motion to propose the appointments of new select committee members.

Follow our live updates here.

3.32pm: Dewan Rakyat sitting has been adjourned.

3.31pm: Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS - Kota Baru) tables motion to adjourn Dewan Rakyat for the day.

3.16pm: Azhar says since there is only one candidate for the Deputy Speaker's post, therefore Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (pic) has been appointed as the Deputy Speaker.

3.15pm: Muhyiddin tables motion to appoint Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman as the Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

3.02pm: Azhar thanks Tan Sri Muhamad Ariff Md Yusof for his service as the Speaker and hopes lawmakers will also cooperate with him to help him carry out his duties as the next Speaker. Azhar says he has received the resignation of Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Nga Kor Ming.

2.55pm: In the middle of his speech, Azhar orders Khalid Samad (PH-Shah Alam) to leave the House and stay out until the sitting ends for the day. Oppostion lawmakers argue and seek justification for his removal.

2.51pm: Azhar continues speaking despite the commotion and begins to address the House as the Speaker for the first time. While he speaks, chants of "tipu tipu tipu" could be heard. Azhar thanks lawmakers for voting him in as the Speaker.

"Thank you for voting, although some of you don't agree with it."

2.50pm: Opposition lawmakers continue to shout and ask "Who voted for the Speaker?"

They continue to ask for the House to be adjourned for 14 days to be given time to submit their own candidate.

2.45pm: Azhar has entered the House and taken his oath as Speaker. Opposition and government lawmakers continue to have heated arguments. Some lawmakers could be heard shouting: "Malu Speaker" (Shame on Speaker).

2.44pm: Opposition lawmakers continue to argue that there was no vacancy notice given to lawmakers, which robs them the opportunity to nominate their own candidate as Speaker.

2.42pm: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tables motion to elect former Election Commission chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (pic) as Speaker.

2.30pm: Nga Kor Ming announces resignation as Deputy Speaker.

1.10pm: Motion to replace Speaker approved with a razor-thin majority. The Dewan Rakyat voted 111 ayes and 109 nays. Batu Pahat MP Datuk Seri Rashid Hasnon did not vote as he chaired the meeting in his capacity as Deputy Speaker. Kota Marudu MP Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili was absent with leave.

12.54pm: The motion is put to vote after several exchanges. Opposition has called for a bloc vote.

12.48pm: Takiyuddin argued that the Federal Constitution states a Speaker can be changed under three circumstances. One of them is a Speaker can be chosen at any time when the Dewan Rakyat meets after a general election.

"When YB Langkawi (Dr Mahathir Mohammad) became the Prime Minister, he changed the Speaker as a new government took over.

"The other reason (in the Federal Constitution) is when the House resolves. In this situation, that is what is happening. We brought the motion to vacate the post of the Speaker," he argued.

12.45pm: Debate on motion to remove Speaker ends. Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Rashid Hasnon invites Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS - Kota Baru) to wind up and reply on behalf of the government.

12.32pm: Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (BN - Arau) rises to debate motion to remove Speaker.

12.27pm: Dr Mahathir alleged that the government wants to change the Speaker to one who would support the Executive's decisions.

Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent - Muar) said it is vital to elect a Speaker who is neutral and will not bow down to the Executive.

12.20pm: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad objects to the motion tabled as well.

"If this is a motion then I don't know what sort of a motion it is because I have not read anywhere in our Federal Constitution or Standing Order which says that a Prime Minister can change the Speaker with the excuse there is another candidate to fill the post," said Dr Mahathir.

12.15pm: Tan Sri Noh Omar (BN - Tanjong Karang) interjects, and asked whether Datuk Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh (PAS - Pasir Puteh) agreed that the Federal Constitution and the Standing Orders are two separate matters.

Noh Omar, who quoted the Standing Orders, said that Article 57(2)(C) meant that the Speaker can be replaced without any reason.

Datuk Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Nik Salleh (PAS - Pasir Putih) subsequently replied, and said he agreed with Noh Omar’s remarks, saying that the replacement of the Speaker is the normal Parliamentary practice in Malaysia.

“We are not trying to insult anyone. This is a normal procedure in the parliament.”

12.07pm: Anwar urged all lawmakers to use their conscience and hoped they will not vote to kick out the Speaker.

"I ask all of you to use your conscience and not fire a Speaker who is excellent," said Anwar.

12.05pm: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim argues that Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof has done an excellent job as Speaker.

"He has introduced various select committees and Parliament caucuses, he has made very professional decisions.

"Please do not make a mistake and tarnish the nobility (cemarkan kemuliaan) of this House.

"If there is a Speaker with impressive credentials and has conducted his duties in the best manner, then the excuse that there is a new candidate to replace the Speaker holds no water," said Anwar.

11.58am: Opposition lawmakers argue that the Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Rashid Hasnon, who is chairing the proceedings, must make a ruling on the vacancy and the validity of the motion tabled.

11.55am: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan argued that the Prime Minister, on June 26, had submitted a motion to the House and it was approved by the Speaker.

"The motion is in line with the Federal Constitution and Standing Order.

"Hence there is no reason to question the motion," he said.

Commotion continues with Opposition lawmakers arguing the validity of the motion.

11.52am: Commotion in Parliament as MPs raise their voices. Gobind Singh (PH-Puchong) questioned the motion to remove the Speaker, saying there was no vacancy notice issued to lawmakers on the position of the Speaker. He said the motion is invalid as the Speaker's post was not vacant.

11.45am: Only two people allowed to debate the motion. Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is urging the House to allow more lawmakers to debate.

11.44am: Muhyiddin tables the motion to replace Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohammad Ariff Md Yusof. The motion was seconded by MITI Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali. The motion is opened to debate.

11.05am: Responding to a question on the economy, Muhyiddin tells the Dewan Rakyat that the country's economic growth is expected to see a significant contraction in the second quarter due to the movement control order (MCO), but it is expected to grow again in the third and fourth quarters of 2020.

10.55am: Muhyiddin says unemployment will increase, but government will ensure its impact will be reduced through various initiatives.

10.35am: Muhyiddin says government approved special aid package without tabling it in Dewan Rakyat because the people needed urgent assistance due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He also tells the House that more than 53 agencies under the Economic Stimulus Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (Laksana) will monitor the implementation of the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package.

10.30am: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in response to a question, tells the House that the Government will ensure no group will be left out of Penjana economic stimulus initiative.

10.25am: The House also wished Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad a belated happy birthday and hoped the Langkawi MP will continue to contribute to the nation.

10.20am: Anwar Ibrahim interjects and urges the Dewan Rakyat to provide cordless microphones for all lawmakers who are seated in the public gallery and officers' sitting area. This suggestion was supported by Umno Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Mokhtar Radin.

10.18am: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff reads out the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for lawmakers to be complied with in the House. Among them include advising lawmakers to constantly wear their face masks while in the House and only removing the mask when they ask questions or debate. Other SOPs include only having 174 MPs in the main sitting area while the remaining MPs will sit at the public gallery and sitting area where officers are usually stationed.

10.10am: The House has accepted Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the Opposition leader, says Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff

10.00am: Dewan Rakyat has begun, with Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof kick-starting the proceedings by reading the laws that were passed in the previous Dewan Rakyat meeting in December 2019.

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