Current Affairs, National, Opinion

An election must be conducted to determine the new Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat

Press statement by MP for Beruas and former Speaker of the Perak State Assembly, Dato’ Ngeh Koo Ham on 12 September 2021:

 

The positions of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House of Parliament) are determined by the Members of Parliament of the Dewan Rakyat. It is a shame that the current Speaker and the Deputy Speaker must be reminded of the obvious. As there are nominations for a new Speaker and a Deputy Speaker to be elected, an election must be conducted as usual

 

I am shocked to learn that the Deputy Speaker Dato’ Mohd Rashid bin Hasnon has rejected the nomination made by Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid, Member of Parliament for Bagan Datoh, Perak that Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman be made the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat. Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid must file a motion under Order 43 of the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders to reverse the Deputy Speaker’s decision. Dato’ Mohd Rashid had earlier also rejected the motion from Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament, Ahmad Fahmi bin Mohamed Fadzil to remove Dato’ Azhar Azizan Harun as the Speaker.

 

This is an affront to the highest democratic institution of our country.

 
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun (middle), Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Rashid Hasnon (left) and former Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azalina Othman (right).
 

The role of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker is to chair and ensure the smooth running of Parliamentary sittings. They are in their respective positions through an election by the Members of Parliament. If Members of Parliament  propose or decide any change in the Speaker and/or the Deputy Speaker, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker have no power to deny any such proposed changes.

 

Dato’ Mohd Rashid bin Hasnon has committed a serious misconduct as a Deputy Speaker.

 

Since there are 2 candidates for the Speaker’s post namely Dato’ Azhar Azizan Harun and Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman and 2 candidates for the Deputy Speaker’s post namely Datuk Seri Ahmad bin Mazlan and Nga Kor Ming, an election must be conducted. Any school children will be able to tell us that. If the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker cannot understand this basic rule of democracy they should resign immediately.

The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker positions are honourable positions highly regarded within the country and internationally. As such the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker must act honourably in their conduct. They must not hold on to their positions when they know their tenures are no longer tenable.

We must continue this healthy tradition of acting honourable. It was for that reason that I tendered my resignation as the Speaker of the Perak State Assembly on 12th May 2020 when some elected representatives from Pakatan Harapan shifted side and the Member of Parliament for Teluk Intan, Nga Kor Ming resigned on 13th July 2020 as the Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat when some Pakatan Harapan Members of Parliament also shifted side.

 
MP for Beruas, Dato’ Ngeh Koo Ham.
 

We would also like to see all Members of Parliament acting honourably too so that our nation will be well respected. We must mean what we say. Member of Parliament for Pagoh, Tan Sri Mahiadin Yassin, the immediate former Prime Minister has declared that he will never accept or support those Members of Parliament with criminal charges against them who are also known as the court cluster.

Will he vote for Datuk Seri Ahmad bin Maslan who is part of the court cluster for the Deputy Speaker post or will he be in agreement with the Dewan Negara Speaker, Tan Sri Rais Yatim that a deputy speaker candidate should not have any pending criminal charges against him?

We will await to see if he mean what he says.

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