KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun today confirmed that his office has received several motions from MPs asking him to vacate his position in the coming Parliament sitting.
He asserted that he has never denied blocking any motions submitted by the MPs seeking his replacement.
“My office has received those motions to vacate my position so that another may be appointed as the Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat.
“As soon as my office received those motions, I wrote back to all the proposers that I will not make any decision about them due to conflict of interest,” he said in a statement.
He added that whatever decision that has to be made about these motions has been passed to his deputy, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon.
Azhar was responding to an Utusan Malaysia report yesterday alleging that he had rejected 15 submissions from MPs seeking his replacement.
Azhar said the allegations were lies and slander.
“I will seek legal advice on this matter soon,” he added.
Malay Mail contacted Rashid to find out if he has made any decision on whether any of the motions will be raised in the coming Dewan Rakyat sitting, as delegated by Azhar.
However, the Batu Pahat MP passed the matter back to Azhar.
“You need to talk to him, he is still the Speaker,” Rashid said when asked and declined further comment.
Malay Mail has reached out to Azhar but has yet to receive a response.
However, Rashid told national news agency Bernama that the motions, if approved, would be displayed in the Order Paper on the day of the Dewan Rakyat sitting.
He said that he would consider whether the motions sought conformed to the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders.
“Each proposer will also get feedback in advance on the status of their motion,” he was quoted saying.
Sources close to two MPs previously told Malay Mail that Bagan Datuk MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is also the Umno president, had recently submitted a motion nominating Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said as the next Dewan Rakyat Speaker.
Malay Mail also sighted a letter by Zahid, in which he asked Azhar to vacate his position under Article 57(2)(c) of the Federal Constitution.
The Umno leader cited Standing Order 26(1), to be read together with Standing Order 27(3) regarding the appointment and status of the Speaker as decided by the prime minister.
The letter also quoted a second motion in which Zahid nominated Azalina, the former deputy Speaker and a former law minister, as Azhar’s replacement.
According to the sources, Zahid submitted his motions to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker’s Office on August 30 and was received the same day.
Prior to the latest motion row, Utusan Malaysia reported on August 27 that Azhar had said he will resume his duties as Speaker at the next Dewan Rakyat sitting on September 6, unless it is decided otherwise.
The final day to submit motions is 14 days before the House of Representatives sits again. This means Zahid’s motion could be accepted as the new term has been set to start on September 13.
The first meeting of the fourth session of the 14th Malaysian Parliament was initially set for September 6 but postponed a week after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was announced to be under self-quarantine for being a Covid-19 close contact.