KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Despite protesting the appointment of Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as Speaker and staging a walkout, Opposition lawmakers still returned to the Dewan Rakyat to take their oaths of office.
Led by Umno president and federal Opposition leader Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Bagan Datuk), the Opposition MPs were sworn in at 11.45am, after members of the Cabinet and Pakatan Harapan MPs.
Ahmad Zahid was followed by embattled former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (Pekan), his cousin Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (Sembrong) and Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, among others.
Najib was seen entering the Lower House with Ahmad Zahid after the earlier walkout.
Kota Baru MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan from PAS, who led the walkout, earlier demanded a 14-day adjournment of the current Dewan Rakyat sitting in order to satisfy the notice period necessary for the appointment of Ariff as the Speaker.
He insisted it was impossible for the letter of nomination for Ariff to have been submitted by July 2, the latest necessary to observe the 14-day notice period required by the Standing Orders.
The official letter stated that Ariff was nominated on July 2, but Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail previously said the former judge’s nomination was only sent in on July 9, later than the minimum 14-day notice period.
Earlier, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad led lawmakers from the Pakatan Harapan coalition for their swearing-in ceremony.
He was followed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and Education Minister Maszlee Malik among others.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was not present today as he is still hospitalised after a surgery.
The final political party to be sworn in was PAS, led by its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.