KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Former Education Minister Maszlee Malik claimed he appealed to the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat to allow a no-confidence vote against the PN government, but was rejected.
He said that on Friday (May 15) he sent a letter to Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof pleading for Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s no-confidence motion, which had been accepted before, to be brought into the Dewan Rakyat meeting today.
“In the letter I also stated my view that there were clear and present contradictions when the Speaker referred to the Meeting Orders, which had nothing to do with the statement he made on Wednesday (May 13),” Maszlee said in a Facebook post.
The Simpang Renggam MP said that Ariff mentioned the amendment to the Session motions was made due to the fact that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is also the Leader of the House, per Standing Orders 11(2) and 15(2)
“I referred to these Orders, and discovered they did not speak about amendments or the determination of the Session motions by the Leader of the House.
“Order 11(2) states as such: Subject to the provisions of paragraph (1), the Leader or Deputy of the House shall determine at least 28 days before the commencement of each Session, the dates on which the House shall meet in the Session,” he said.
Maszlee added that this was provided the Leader or Deputy Leader of the House may vary from time to time the dates so fixed.
Meanwhile, Standing Order 15(2) states the House may, at any time, upon a motion (to be moved by a minister) to be decided without amendment or debate which may be made without notice and shall take precedence over all other business, decide to proceed to any particular business out of the regular order.
“This clearly indicated that any business out of the regular order only applies to government business, whereas the motion brought forth by Tun Dr Mahathir falls under a private one.
“Similarly Standing Order 14(1) clearly states that unless the House otherwise directs, the
business of each sitting shall be transacted in the following order. This means only the Session is empowered (hanya Majlis Mesyuarat sahaja yang berkuasa) to determine the order of business which differs from Order 14(1),” he said.
Maszlee explained that hypothetically, the government can use Standing Order 14(2) to decide, upon a motion to be moved by a minister, to proceed to any particular business out of the regular order without the need for any amendment or debate.
“However this does not mean any other agendas can be denied, so long as the Session’s duration permits it.
“I should also state that if the Speaker again withdraws the move to limit the Session, this will be remembered in the country’s democratic history as a transparent gesture adhering to our parliamentary democratic system,” he said.
Subsequently on Saturday (May 16) Maszlee received a reply from Ariff, in which his plea was rejected but otherwise made no mention of the issues raised concerning the Meeting Orders.
“I am aware that this is only a small gesture on my part as an MP, yet I am satisfied since at least I have tried my best according to the law.
“The Parliamentary sitting took place today as planned, yet history will remember May 18 as the day democracy was clouded in our country,” he said.