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Azhar: No authority to fast track no-confidence motion
Published on: Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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Azhar (centre) with Azalina and Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon (left) at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Kuala Lumpur: New Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun insisted that his appointment was legitimate, saying that there is no need for a voting session in the Lower House, should there only be one nominee.

 “According to the Standing Orders, if there is only one nomination, then there is no need for voting. They are directly declared as the Speaker or Deputy Speaker.

 “As a lawyer who knows some law, I can state personally that when there’s only one nomination, then there is no need (for vote),” he said, adding that overall, he had a good experience, despite the ruckus, and called it a learning experience.

He said that any party which wishes to nominate its own candidate for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker’s post, can do so by way of a notice to the Dewan Rakyat Secretary, within 14 days.

However, he added that there is no provision which states that the nominations cannot be made without the seats falling vacant, citing Standing Order 4(1).

Azhar added that he also never acted controversially, and does not intend to be controversial.

 “People said that when I was elected as the Election Commission (EC) chairman, that was also controversial. There wasn’t any controversy.  I never acted controversially and I do not intend to act controversial here. It’s as simple as that. It’s a job and we do it in accordance with the Federal Constitution, with the law and with the Standing Orders, and I intend to uphold that,” he said.

Azhar also said he has no authority to move up Langkawi Member of Parliament Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in the Parliamentary Order Paper. The motion, which was inserted as item 27 in the Order Paper, was submitted by Dr Mahathir weeks before Monday’s Dewan Rakyat sitting began.

“I don’t have the authority to move it up. The previous speaker inserted it as item number 27 and so we (the Speaker’s office) will deal with it when we come to it,” he said.

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who was also present at the press conference and was named the Dewan Rakyat’s first female Deputy Speaker, said that the Opposition had enough notice to choose its own candidate, but did not do so.

“The only issue here is that the Opposition, with all due respect, is looking at it from a political perspective. So their argument is that they want another 14 days,” she said, before adding that the decision to name a new Speaker was a public notice, and Pakatan Harapan (PH) could have named its own candidate.


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