Dark Day for Due Process

Indians have this saying: you only need to taste one grain of rice to check if the entire pot is cooked.

Likewise Azhar Azizan Harun’s first day performance as Parliament Speaker has set the tone for more disappointments in the coming days.

For starters, how can a person not elected by the Dewan Rakyat claim himself to be a Speaker and take his oath of office?

Secondly, why was the new appointment  triggered when there was no vacancy in the office of the Speaker, either by dissolution of Parliament or otherwise?

And thirdly there was no 14-days notice given, to elect a Speaker, after Mohd Ariff Md Yusof was removed.

In short, the whole process was fundamentally flawed.

As a lawyer himself, Azhar should have known better. To be honest, refusing the appointment under such grave circumstances, is more in line with who he is.

Instead, he rattled off an unconvincing debut speech as the new Speaker, thanking lawmakers for appointing him. Maybe he was pacifying his conscience as the due process was sabotaged by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

We didn’t get to vote in the Speaker as we rightfully should. Instead, a backdoor government appointed a backdoor Speaker.

And in the process, silenced our voices.

This is a travesty of justice. The first day of Parliament sealed parliamentary democracy in a coffin and tossed rule of law out of the window.

And I dread to think of what’s more to come.

Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament Klang

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