KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said issued an ultimatum to RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) to sit down or be ejected from the Dewan Rakyat during the debate on the Royal Address in Parliament.
It started when Rayer interrupted Datuk Salim Sharif's (BN-Jempol) speech on the Royal Address, who was criticising Pakatan Harapan’s 22-month administration, claiming that government assets were sold and public welfare was decreasing.
Rayer stood up to interject but Salim did not give way.
“If he doesn’t give way, I will use the Standing Orders, ” said Rayer, which prompted Azalina to ask him which he was referring to.
Rayer claimed he was allowed to interject according to Standing Order 36 for statements that promote ill-will, but this was rejected by Azalina, saying the Jempol’s MP had the floor.
“This is Jempol’s floor, sit down and let him answer, ” said Azalina.
Rayer refused to sit down and asked Azalina if she was going to allow Salim to proceed with his remarks.
This resulted in a shouting match involving Rayer, Salim and Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, triggering Azalina’s wrath.
“Jelutong, I know you are a learned counsel, but I’m the chairing speaker. Under Standing Order 35, you must allow the chair to make the decision whether you can stand or even ask questions.”
Rayer, who sported a bewildered look, asked Azalina what she meant.
Azalina then exclaimed: "Don’t hijack the microphone. I know you are very learned and an articulate lawyer, but please have some respect."
Rayer issued a rebuttal but was cut short by Azalina.
“See, I’m not finished, (yet) you intervened. My point is – if you are in court, the judge would put you in jail because you are in contempt of court.
“Please sit down and let me finish. I have asked Jempol to reply and it’s up to him whether he wants to reply or not, ” she said.
Rayer continued his attempts to rebut Azalina, triggering the Pengerang MP’s wrath.
“Don’t teach me YB, sit down. Since I was on duty, many Opposition leaders debated and many allegations were made. It’s okay, this is democracy, let them speak, ” she said.
Rayer asked if he could finish his statement, but it was swiftly rejected.
“No, I’m not going to let you finish. YB, sit down, ” said Azalina.
Rayer subsequently asked Azalina why she was losing her temper, saying: "There’s no reason for you to be angry at me”.
Azalina then asked: "Are you challenging me?” before issuing an ultimatum against the DAP lawmaker to sit down.
“I’m not going to put an order on you. Either you sit down or I get the Sergeant-at-Arms to get you out.
“I’m going to count – five, four, three, two, one! Sit down! Sit down!” Azalina said.
Rayer asked her not to be angry, and proceeded to abide by Azalina’s order to sit down.
“Of course I’m angry. I’m human, Sit down and let Jempol speak because the time is running out. I will not stop the time, ” she said, before allowing Salim to continue his speech.
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