Govt affairs take precedence in Parliament, says Deputy Speaker on rejection of Saudi visit motion

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 28 Mar 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: It is the decision of Parliament, led by the Prime Minister and Speaker, to reject a motion to discuss the Prime Minister’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia, says Datuk Ramli Mohd Nor (pic).

The Deputy Speaker said government affairs will always take precedence in Parliament sittings and the Order of Dewan Rakyat sittings is decided by the Speaker and the Leader of the House, who is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

ALSO READ: Perikatan MP files emergency motion to have PM's Saudi trip discussed in Parliament

“We should know that the Leader of the House is the Prime Minister, that is indisputable.

“The Order of the Day is decided by the Parliament, which is under the administration of the Speaker and the Leader of the House.

“Government affairs are prioritised. That is very clear, YB. Refer to Standing Order 18, 19 and 17,” Ramli said in Parliament on Tuesday (March 28).

ALSO READ: Wrong to claim Anwar not given proper acknowledgement during Saudi trip, say analysts

Ramli was responding to Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Bharu), who earlier said there was a need to discuss issues of public interest in the House.

Takiyuddin also said that the Opposition's question on the Saudi Arabia trip in an emergency motion and during Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQT) had been rejected.

“What other channels do we have for the people? You tell us, where else? You are the honoured man, the learned person. You guide us,” Takiyuddin said.

In response, Ramli referred to practices of various Parliaments in Britain, New Zealand and Singapore.

ALSO READ: Perikatan wants PM to explain Saudi trip in Parliament

“If we look at the scenarios and the Westminster system, I also read the news at the New Zealand and Singapore Parliament, at the end of the day, it is the decision of the House (to discuss motions).

“YB (Takiyuddin) was formerly a minister. So let’s not drag on. There are still other matters,” said Ramli

Ramli then proceeded with the speeches of MPs on the Education Ministry’s allocation in Budget 2023.

ALSO READ: ‘Saudi visit is a success’

Debates on Budget 2023 will continue at the committee stage in Parliament until it is voted by MPs on Tuesday (March 28) afternoon.

From Wednesday (March 29), debates involving government bills, private members’ bills, and other matters, will take place in Parliament until April 4.

Earlier, the matter was raised by Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal (PN-Machang) after Question Time, who said that his question submitted to the weekly PMQT session earlier was rejected.

“What other channels can I use in the Dewan Rakyat so that the Foreign Ministry will explain to us what happened in Saudi Arabia last week,” said Wan Ahmad

Ramli said that dissatisfied MPs can file another motion in Parliament, which will be decided by the Speaker.

ALSO READ: Was it really a Saudi royal snub?

Ramli also said MPs should watch their behaviour in the house.

“I understand, the political rage is alive. But, be mindful. Others out there see this House as a zoo,” added Ramli.

Wan Ahmad had said on March 27 that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should explain his recent trip to Saudi Arabia in Parliament.

The Opposition had claimed that the three-day trip was a failure as Anwar was only welcomed by the Jeddah governor.

ALSO READ: Boosting ties with Saudi Arabia

Perikatan said Anwar was not brought into the Kaabah and there was no meeting with King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud or Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Anwar was on an official trip in Saudi Arabia from March 22 to 24.

Anwar is scheduled to make an official visit to Hainan and Beijing in China on Wednesday to meet President Xi Jinping and his counterpart Li Qiang.

Anwar’s political secretary Ahmad Farhan Fauzi had said much was achieved during the three-day visit and the Saudi Arabian government had even requested the premier to extend his stay in the country to facilitate meetings with the leaders of both countries.

However, Ahmad Farhan said Anwar had to respectfully decline the request as he was scheduled to attend a buka function with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong.

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