KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — The manner in which the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government removed and appointed a new Dewan Rakyat Speaker is an indication of the ruling coalition’s disregard for parliamentary regulations and the general rule of law, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir, in a direct attack on the government’s removal of Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as the Speaker, said it was the first time such a move has been done with the reasoning that there was another candidate.
He said the mere two-vote majority that the government later obtained to remove Mohamad Ariff was an indication that the change of Speaker was not a move everyone was in support of.
The former prime minister also lamented how the new Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun seemed to side with the government, by muting the microphones and not allowing input from the Opposition bloc when they opposed his appointment.
“Then came the replacement. There was no vote. He wore his robe and pretended to act as a Speaker.
“Members of Parliament were not given the right to choose. Not even given the right to speak.
“Within the Dewan Rakyat, the wishes of the government must be accepted by all MPs,” he wrote.
Dr Mahathir said that if this is the trend that is going to continue within Parliament, there might as well be no need for an Opposition bloc.
“If this is the way the Dewan convenes, the Opposition is not required. Whatever motions proposed by the government will still be accepted.
“What is the need for Parliament? The existence of the government would suffice, even if it is a backdoor government,” he wrote.
He went on to say that the formation of the PN government itself was done in total disregard of the electoral system, adding how governments should by right be voted into office by the people.
“The government under the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin (Yassin) has clearly ignored the Malaysian electoral system.
“Now it can be seen that this government under Muhyiddin also does not respect the rules and regulations of the Dewan Rakyat,” he said.