KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 ― The Yang di-Pertuan Agong today demonstrated his humour during his opening speech of the 14th Parliament today, telling the MPs not to “run”.
“The honourable Dewan Rakyat Speaker, the honourable Dewan Negara president, and distinguished MPs, please take your seat and don't run,” a smiling Sultan Muhammad V said in Malay, leaving the Dewan Rakyat members in stitches.
It is unclear what the King was hinting at, but the quip was seemingly targeted at the Opposition members who staged a walkout yesterday, after expressing dissatisfaction over the selection of Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.
Still smiling, Sultan Muhammad V then proceeded to read his opening address.
Opposition lawmakers from Barisan Nasional and PAS staged a walkout from the lower House yesterday, after their objections to Mohamad Ariff’s selection as Speaker went unheeded.
Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin were among the few who remained inside the House.
Khairy later said that a walkout “is not the way to protest” and his decision was made out of respect for parliamentary procedures.
In a later statement, Anifah said he respected the decision of his party peers, but felt walking out of the Dewan Rakyat was uncalled for.
The Opposition group later returned after Mohd Ariff was appointed to complete their own swearing-in ceremony.