KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — The Dewan Rakyat approved today a motion to remove Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, with 111 yays to 109 nays.

Opposition MPs had earlier called for bloc voting to decide on the motion tabled by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Malay Mail was informed that Kota Marudu MP Datuk Seri Maximus Johnity Ongkili was absent for medical reasons, while another vote belonged to Deputy Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon, who was not able to cast his vote as he was presiding over the meeting.

Earlier, the debate over the motion had extended into lunch hour, with de facto Parliament affairs minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan proposing it under Standing Order 12 (1), to extend the meeting hour.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had in the morning after the Question and Answer session moved the motion to remove Mohamad Ariff, in what was his first real test of legitimacy since helming the position amidst a chaotic political environment, coupled with the Covid-19 outbreak.

The motion, as expected, was fiercely debated as Opposition MPs protested the move to replace the former Court of Appeal judge.

Next in line is the motion is to appoint former Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said to replace incumbent Speaker Mohamad Ariff and his deputy, Nga Kor Ming.

This is to be done according to Order 4(1) of the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat.

* In an earlier version of this story, former Court of Appeal judge Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof was inadvertently and mistakenly named as a former Federal judge. We apologise to Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff for any inconvenience this may have caused him.