FEBRUARY 29 — The Dewan Rakyat Standing Order (DRSO) 14(1) states as follows: Unless the House otherwise directs, the business of each sitting shall be transacted in the following order:

(a) Formal entry of Tuan Yang di-Pertua.

(b) Prayers as shall be approved by the House.

(c) Taking of Oath by any new member.

Advertisement

(d) Messages from the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Items (e) – (q) follow, which include (i) Statements by Ministers, (j) Tributes, and (n) Motions relating to the Order of Business (to be moved by a Minister).

DRSO 14(2) allows the Dewan Rakyat, at any time, to decide to proceed to any particular business out of the regular order from (a) – (q) upon a motion, which is to be moved by a Minister. The motion is to be decided by the Dewan Rakyat without amendment or debate. The motion may be made without notice and must take precedence over all other business.

Advertisement

Clearly DRSO 14(2) allows a motion by a Minister — made without notice, to be decided without amendment or debate, that takes precedence over all other business — for the Dewan Rakyat to proceed to any particular out of the regular order.

So, why the commotion over Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s motion of thanks to both former and current Kings?

The motion of thanks followed a motion by the Minister in the Prime Minister Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said which read as follows:

Mengikut Peraturan Mesyuarat 14(2), saya mohon mencadangkan Penerangan Menteri di bawah Peraturan Mesyuarat 14(1)(i) dan Ucapan Pujian di bawah Peraturan Mesyuarat 14(1)(j) dibuat sekarang dan selepas itu disambung semula dengan urusan seperti dalam Aturan Urusan Mesyuarat hari ini.”

The Opposition chief whip Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan conceded that DRSO 14(2) allows it, but curiously Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin deemed it tyranny of the majority.

Azalina had done it before — at least thrice in recent times. On October 31, 2023 she moved as follows:

Mengikut Peraturan Mesyuarat 14(2), saya mohon mencadangkan supaya Aturan Urusan Majlis Mesyuarat dimulakan dengan ucapan tahniah atas pemilihan Yang di-Pertuan Agong Ketujuh Belas dan Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan selepas itu Majlis disambung semula dengan urusan dalam Aturan Mesyuarat hari ini.”

The motion followed the announcement by the Istana Negara on October 27, 2023 that Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar would be the 17th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, with Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah as his deputy.

On October 9, 2023 the same Minister moved as follows:

Mengikut Peraturan Mesyuarat 14(2), saya mohon mencadangkan Penerangan Menteri berhubung konflik Israel-Palestin di bawah Peraturan Mesyuarat 14(1)(i) dibuat sekarang dan selepas itu disambung semula dengan urusan seperti dalam Aturan Urusan Mesyuarat hari ini.”

On June 14, 2023, Azalina moved as follows:

Mengikut Peraturan Mesyuarat 14(2), saya mohon mencadangkan Penerangan Menteri di bawah Peraturan Mesyuarat 14(1)(i) dibuat sekarang, dan selepas itu disambung semula dengan urusan seperti dalam Aturan Urusan Mesyuarat hari ini.”

The motion was for the Prime Minister to update the Dewan Rakyat and the nation the latest status regarding the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu’s claims against the country.

Are all of the above motions, made under DRSO 14(2), tyranny of the majority?

Should we start “digging” the Hansard and find if previous Parliaments, including the 14th Parliament, have resorted to DRSO 14(2)?

*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.