PERIKATAN Nasional (PN) MPs walked out from the Dewan Rakyat today in protest of the Speaker’s decision to reject a motion to debate the coalition’s proposal to allow another round of targeted Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals.
At the start of this morning’s session, Machang MP Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal had stood up to request a debate on allowing another round of EPF withdrawals, having submitted a written motion on the matter last Friday.
This is despite the motion being rejected by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Johari Abdul in writing.
Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Alice Lau said the Standing Orders state that the speaker’s decision is final and as such, she cannot overrule it.
She suggested for Wan Ahmad Fayhsal submit another motion to the speaker or meet with Johari himself later.
This prompted a wave of protests from PN lawmakers, who argued that the matter of EPF withdrawals is of great importance to the people.
According to Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim to stood up in support of Wan Ahmad Fayhsal, the Speaker would usually take about five days to respond to written motions. The Dewan Rakyat’s last day of proceedings for this session is tomorrow (April 4).
“If this matter is not discussed, we (the PN MPs) will walk out in protest,” Hamzah said.
Despite that, Lau did not budge, repeating that she cannot overrule the speaker’s decision. She then said opposition MPs were free to exit the hall.
Last Friday (March 31) Wan Ahmad Fayhsal submitted an urgent motion to request the Dewan Rakyat to debate the matter.
He asked that Dewan Rakyat session to be adjourned in accordance to Article 18 (1) and (2) of the Meeting Rules to make way for the motion to discuss the targeted EPF withdrawal for those in need.
Wan Ahmad Fayhsal pointed out that the people are getting increasingly more desperate and that the number of groups who cannot cover their living expenses is on the rise.
“Therefore, I believe this issue needs to be expedited next week since there are only two days left before the end of this Dewan Rakyat session,” he said via his Facebook page. – April 3, 2023
Main pic credit: Bernama