Muhyiddin scrapes through 111-109 vote on new speaker

Chan Kok Leong

Perikatan Nasional ousted Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as speaker today and replaced by the former Election Commission chairman. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, July 13, 2020.

MUHYIDDIN Yassin survived his first test when 111 MPs voted in favour of his motion to remove Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof on the first day of Parliament today.

At 1.10pm, 111 MPs voted in favour of the motion while 109 MPs voted against it during the division vote. One MP was absent.

A simple majority is sufficient to see the vote through in the 222-seat chamber.

Deputy Speaker Rashid Hasnon (Batu Pahat-Bersatu) announced the results.

The vote represents a small victory for Muhyiddin as this is the first time Perikatan Nasional has been tested in Parliament since coming into power on March 1.

Up until today, it was unclear whether Muhyiddin had sufficient support from the MPs as five members from his own party, such as former chairman and prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, are against his nomination as prime minister.

Muhyiddin has since removed Dr Mahathir and the four lawmakers aligned to him from Bersatu.

The motion for Ariff’s removal was on June 27.

According to today’s order papers, the government will nominate former Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun as the new Dewan Rakyat speaker.

PN is also expected to remove deputy speaker Nga Kor Ming (Teluk Intan-PH) after Dewan Rakyat resumes after the lunch break.

Nga is expected to be replaced by former Barisan Nasional minister Azalina Othman Said (Pengerang-BN).

The motion to remove Ariff was voted after it was debated, with Rashid allowing only two MPs each from the government and opposition benches, and for 10 minutes each only.

Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh (Pasir Putih-PAS) and Shahidan Kassim (Arau-BN) debated the motion from the government bench, while Anwar Ibrahim (Port Dickson-PH) and Dr Mahathir Mohamed (Langkawi-Bersatu) spoke for the opposition.

Both Dr Mahathir and Anwar, who is opposition leader, argued that Ariff had done nothing wrong to be replaced.

Anwar also argued that a nomination for a new speaker could only be made if post was vacant.

The heated debate, which saw plenty of shouting from both sides, saw other opposition MPs interject to say that Ariff had been fair and impartial performing his duty as speaker and that there was no reason to remove him.

Nik Zawawi and Shahidan said any government that comes into power would want to replace the speaker.

Winding up the debate, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Takiyuddin Hassan, who is charge of laws, said although this was the first time the Dewan Rakyat replaced its Speaker in this manner, “it doesn’t mean it is illegal as it is based on the federal constitution and the standing orders.” – July 13, 2020.

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  • That's still less than the 112 required to prove his government's majority.
    It is a hollow victory.

    Posted 3 years ago by Arul Inthirarajah · Reply

  • Good news. The new govt takes control.

    Posted 3 years ago by Noor Azhar Kamaruddin · Reply

  • Shameless government shameless speaker shameless MPs uttering racist and sexist remarks. Sad for this failed nation.

    Posted 3 years ago by Loyal Malaysian · Reply