What was out of order in motion for speaker’s removal?

DEWAN Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun yesterday confirmed his office had received several motions from MPs asking him to vacate his position in the coming Parliament sitting. 

However, the motions had been passed to Deputy Speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon as Azhar would not want to make any decision about them due to conflict of interest.

It appears that Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil is one of the MPs who has motioned for Azhar’s removal as he tweeted yesterday that his motion to remove Azhar was rejected by Rashid.

The letter from Rashid stated that the motion was not done in proper order; hence, it would not be brought before the Dewan Rakyat.

“I have examined the proposal brought forward by Yang Berhormat (Fahmi) and found that the motion was not done in an orderly manner in accordance with Standing Order 4(3) of the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders,” wrote Rashid in his reply to Fahmi.

Now, Standing Order 4 concerns the procedure for the election of a speaker. Standing Order 4(3) reads as follows:

“If only one member or person be so proposed and seconded as Yang di-Pertua, he shall be declared by the Setiausaha without question put, to have been elected. If more than one member or person be so proposed and seconded the House shall proceed to elect a Yang di-Pertua by ballot.”

Rashid’s reliance on the above Standing Order is therefore incorrect. Standing Order 4 has nothing to do with the removal of a speaker.

The rejection of Fahmi’s motion was also explained by Rashid as follows:

“I also find the motion of Yang Berhormat is not preceded by a notice, which is required under Standing Order 27. Therefore, the motion will not be brought before the House.”

Standing Orders provide for the manner of giving notices. Standing Order 27(1) says that where “under any Standing Order (or the practice of the House) notice is required such notice shall be sent to the Setiausaha in writing during the usual office hours.”

Notice of a motion is required under Standing Order 26(1) to be given unless the motion falls under one of the paragraphs under the Standing Order. Since Fahmi’s motion does not fall under one of the paragraphs, notice of his motion is rightly required.

But Fahmi’s submission of his motion is notice of the motion in itself. If signed and submitted “not less than 14 days” – Standing Order 27(3) – the motion should not be outrightly rejected. More so when Standing Order 27(5) allows for any motion that infringes the Standing Order to be remedied.

Standing Order 27(5) reads as follow:

“If Tuan Yang di-Pertua is of the opinion that any notice received by the Setiausaha infringes any of the provisions of these Orders or is otherwise out of order, he may direct:

(a) that it be printed with such alterations as he may direct; or

(b) that it be returned to the member who signed it, as being in his opinion out of order.”

So now, is Fahmi’s motion or Rashid’s rejection of the motion that is out of order?

By : Hafiz Hassan (The Malaysian Insight’s reader) – THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Stringer

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