Want “sanity” at the Dewan Rakyat? Boot out Art Harun, PSM says

PARTI Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) said that it would be best if the Dewan Rakyat replaces its Speaker with someone who could command respect from both sides of the political aisle.

“If our political parties are unable to form a unity government, then perhaps they can appoint a Speaker who is fair to both blocs, which command almost equal strength at the Dewan Rakyat.

“So, before talking about a vote of confidence on the Prime Minister, we need to have a vote of confidence on the Speaker first.

“Only then can the Speaker act in a fair manner to proceed with delicate issues like a vote of confidence,” said its deputy chairperson S Arutchelvan, in a statement.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun is deeply unpopular among MPs from both sides of the aisle as he was perceived to be partial towards ex-Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Government.

Following Muhyiddin ouster from power, Umno sources told Malaysiakini that they were mulling to replace Azhar with former Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

Her supposed candidacy seems to receive praises from both sides of the aisle, with DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng saying that the party would support her nomination as long as her calls for reforms are implemented too.

Recently, Attorney General (AG)Tan Sri Idrus Harun, who is also Azhar’s brother, announced that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob need not to seek confidence vote at the Dewan Rakyat as it would undermine the Agong’s authority over the matter.

It is to note that the Agong himself had decreed party leaders to table a confidence vote on Ismail Sabri after the latter’s appointment, to provide legitimacy to his new role as the premier.

Brother advising sibling?

Touching on the latest development, Arutchelvan said that it was odd that the Government seems to be in a position where the AG was advising the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, with both being brothers!

“The AG’s statement is appalling. What is he worried about? In fact, Idrus should resign as he was appointed by the previous prime minister. He should allow Ismail Sabri to pick a new person.

“But it looks like Idrus has no desire to resign and his recent statement actually seems to indicate that he has no confidence that Ismail Sabri will get his majority.

“Plus, it is also problematic when his own brother is the Speaker of the House. Where is the check and balance?” he asked.

The former Kajang councillor added that it was important for Ismail Sabri to table a confidence vote so that new administration can start with a clean slate.

“If a vote of confidence is not tabled, it would indicate the new premier does not command majority support from MPs.

“And this will create doubt to Ismail Sabri’s legitimacy and he would be subject to ridicules and trolls,” Arutchelvan opined.

On related matter, Lim Guan Eng panned Azhar performance as the House Speaker, claiming the latter had “mutated” the Parliament to become an agency of the Executive.

“He failed to uphold Parliament’s sanctity, which is independent from the dictates of the Executive, Plus, Azhar also openly defied the Agong’s decree to hold sittings during the Emergency,” he alleged. – Sept 6, 2021

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