Dewan Rakyat Speaker: No special sitting of Parliament, wait for Agong's decree

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said the letter submitted by Interim prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not meet the conditions of Parliament's Standing Order 11(3), for not providing a complete ‘Motion Notification.’ — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 ― Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof has rejected the application to convene a special sitting this Monday on grounds that it does not meet the prerequisites.

He said the letter submitted by interim prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not meet the conditions of Parliament’s Standing Order 11(3), for not providing a complete “Notice of Motion”.

The Speaker also concluded that the meeting can only be held upon receiving the decree from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the selection process for the next prime minister.

 “I, as the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, have received a letter signed by the Interim Prime Minister informing me that the government has agreed to hold a special Dewan Rakyat sitting on Monday, March 2, 2020,” Mohamad Ariff said in an official letter.

“However, the letter did not meet the condition provided by Standing Order 11(3) because it was not followed by a complete Notice of Motion.”

Standing Order 11 (3) states that the purview to decide on a date for the special sitting is with the Dewan Rakyat Speaker and not the interim prime minister, Mohamad Ariff asserted in the letter.

Pakatan Harapan MPs have come up in arms against Dr Mahathir whom they claimed had overstepped his powers when he told reporters yesterday that a special Parliament sitting would be held this Monday to vote for the next prime minister.

Mohamad Arif, appointed as Speaker by PH, suggested the same today, saying a special Dewan Rakyat sitting can only be held by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree.

“Therefore, I have decided that NO Special Dewan Rakyat Sitting will take place on Monday, March 2, 2020,” the Speaker said the letter.

The letter, distributed by PH aides on WhatsApp, comes as the Conference of Rulers held an emergency meeting this morning in an attempt to find a solution to the political impasse.

Dr Mahathir told a packed press conference in Putrajaya yesterday that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had hit a dead end in his attempt to determine which prime minister candidate has majority support, leading the King to declare that the Parliament was the best forum to decide this.

Should that also fail, the interim prime minister said fresh elections may be held.


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