Don’t bring squabbles into Parliament, MPs warned

Representing the people: MPs reciting the Rukun Negara at the Dewan Rakyat.

DEWAN Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul has warned MPs not to bring their squabbles into Parliament, saying the august House should not be used to settle political differences.

“I have also informed my deputies on this. Settle this outside and don’t drag your squabbles into the House.

“I assure you that we will take action against those who use the House as a platform for unrelated matters,” he said when opening the session yesterday.

Johari also asked MPs to show a good example.

“We are being watched by the rakyat across various platforms. Show maturity during debates and be on your best behaviour.

“My deputies and myself will be strict and take action against those who do not abide by the rules,” he said.

Johari reminded MPs to refrain from discussing matters pertaining to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Malay rulers and governors, as per the standing orders.

He told MPs that the standing orders stated that it is wrong to use words that incite hatred among Malaysians.

In his Royal Address when opening Parliament on Monday, His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia, gave the green light to Johari to take stern action against misbehaving MPs, including suspending them for 14 days.

Sultan Ibrahim also called on all levels of society to strengthen national unity and not to incite others by harping on issues pertaining to race, religion and royalty.

“We are all aware that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land which must be respected.

“This was the result of the agreement among Malay Rulers to establish a federation and to empower Parliament to enact laws,” His Majesty said.

Separately, the Dewan Rakyat also offered a short prayer and observed a moment of silence for the late Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

The former Sarawak governor and longest serving Sarawak chief minister breathed his last on Feb 21.

Earlier yesterday, a full recitation of the Rukun Negara was heard, beginning with the preamble that was recited for the first time in Dewan Rakyat.

The historical moment was led by Dewan Rakyat secretary Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin, with MPs joining in passionately.

The Rukun Negara pledge was recited prior to Minister’s Question Time.

In a statement on Monday, National Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said this initiative was approved by the Cabinet last July.

The current Dewan Rakyat sitting will last for 19 days starting Monday until March 7.

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