Art attack: Speaker slams Pakatan over statement

PETALING JAYA: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun has hit out at Pakatan Harapan, saying it is trying to drive a wedge between him, his office and Istana Negara.

Responding to the Pakatan presidential council’s statement earlier yesterday that he and the Perikatan Nasional government were being “disobedient” to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by not allowing a debate in the coming special parliamentary meeting, he said “this is no more than pure political drivel without any kind of substance”.

Azhar, popularly known as Art Harun, said despite having what he described as a stellar line-up of well-known legal practitioners in its stable, the former ruling coalition did not seem to understand or know the Standing Orders.

“I would like to advise the Pakatan presidential council to read the Standing Orders, most particularly Rule 11(3), and ascertain with precision as to the entity that appoints the business of the meeting during a special meeting.

“I would like to implore the presidential council to stop this politics of hate through subtle and surreptitious misinformation as well as false narrative,” he said in a statement.

Earlier, in a joint statement issued by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu, the Pakatan presidential council said the Speaker and Perikatan government would be disobeying the King by not allowing debates in the coming Parliament meeting to be held for five days from July 26 to Aug 2.

It said the King had issued a statement on June 16 calling for Parliament to reconvene as soon as possible for MPs to debate the Emergency Ordinance, National Recovery Plan, and government spending related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said a motion of no-confidence was not expected to be tabled by Pakatan against Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as it wanted to fully focus on the Covid-19 crisis.

As such, the presidential council called for parliamentary debates to be allowed.

On July 15, Azhar said that two more Parliament meetings would take place for 15 and 32 days from September onwards.

He said the first meeting of the fourth session of the 14th Parliament would sit for 15 days from Sept 6 to 30, with the second meeting scheduled for 32 days from Oct 25 to Dec 16.

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