KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 ― The Pakatan Harapan (PH) secretariat denounced yesterday’s removal of Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as the Speaker of Parliament and the rushed appointment of his replacement as a failure of the country’s democracy.
They said the unprecedented removal of a Speaker mid-term was an ignoble first among Commonwealth nations.
“To make matters worse, after he was dropped, the motion from the Opposition for a 14 day period to propose a new Speaker was also ignored.
“In the end, the candidate was also not agreed upon through a vote. Pakatan Harapan is deeply disappointed with the attitude of the Government who appear to want to put Parliament under its executive power. Parliament is a legislative body who should be free of any outside influence, or else the democracy of the country is under threat,” the PH secretariat said in a joint statement.
The statement was signed by PH and PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution, Amanah secretary-general Datuk Hatta Ramli and DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
“We are also saddened by the ensuing debate yesterday, whereby only four people were allowed to debate for 10 minutes each. More time should be allocated for such a historic motion, so both sides can be heard,” they said.
The Dewan Rakyat yesterday approved the motion to remove Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof by a vote of 111-109.
Subsequently, former Election Commission chairman Datuk Azhar Harun was sworn in as his replacement.
Opposition MPs had earlier called for bloc voting to decide the motion tabled by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin but this was not heard.
The Opposition bloc maintained that the removal was done unreasonably and in breach of the Standing Orders.