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10 APRIL 2024

Friday, February 28, 2020

Speaker pulls plug on special sitting on next PM, cites standing order

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof added another twist to the ongoing political saga with his announcement that there would be no special sitting on March 2.
Mohamad Ariff (above) said he received a letter calling for the special sitting from interim Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"However, I found that the letter does not fulfil Standing Order 11(3) because it was not accompanied by a complete notice for the motion (to be debated).
"Additionally, I am of the opinion that the special sitting should only happen after receiving a decree from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the process of selecting a new prime minister," he added in a statement this afternoon.

Standing Order 11 (3) reads as follows: 
If, during an adjournment of the House, it is represented to Tuan Yang di-Pertua by the Prime Minister that the public interest requires that the House should meet at an earlier date than that to which the House was adjourned, Tuan Yang di-Pertua shall give notice thereof forthwith and the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice. 
The business set down for that day shall be appointed by the Prime Minister and notice thereof shall be circulated not later than the time of meeting.
Incidentally, Mohamad Ariff is slated to launch a book on the Standing Orders at 7.30pm in Parliament on Monday. 
Mohamad Ariff is a former Court of Appeal judge. He quit Amanah prior to taking up the job as Dewan Rakyat speaker. Unlike the deputy speakers, Mohamad Ariff is not an elected lawmaker.
Yesterday, Mahathir said the Agong found that none of the candidates for the premier's post have a clear majority.
“And because there is no distinct majority, he (the King) says the right forum is the Dewan Rakyat.
"So Parliament will be called on the second of next month (next Monday) in order to determine who gets majority support in the Dewan Rakyat to become the next prime minister,” he said.
If the Dewan Rakyat option also fails, Mahathir said, a snap general election would be inevitable.
However, Pakatan Harapan and Muafakat Nasional disagreed with the interim premier's statement regarding the sitting.
The coalitions' leaders pointed out that this was wrong since the Agong has yet to complete the process of deciding which MP had majority support to lead the government.
Muafakat is also seeking fresh elections as a way out of the current political crisis.
Other constitutional experts have pointed out that the special Dewan Rakyat sitting should only be called to test the support of the prime minister once the Agong had made an appointment. - Mkini

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