A former officer to ex-Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusoff has expressed regret over current speaker Azhar Azizan Harun's stand on the move for a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Lawyer Wan Anwar Wan Ibrahim said he was disappointed with Azhar's response to Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, asking the latter to discuss the matter with de facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan.
"It must be noted here that what was requested by Tengku Razaleigh is a reassurance that the motion will be tabled in the upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting.
"That is an opportunity for the Dewan Rakyat speaker to correct the situation.
"However, once again the answer given by the speaker in asking Tengku Razaleigh to discuss with the law minister is highly disappointing and does not reflect the freedom of Parliament in the separation of powers," he added in a statement today.
With Muhyiddin's majority in the Dewan Rakyat in doubt and faced with a flood of no-confidence motions, the spotlight has once again fallen on Azhar.
Tengku Razaleigh had written to Azhar and implored him to allow the initial no-confidence motion against Muhyiddin, filed by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to be voted on.
Referring to Tengku Razaleigh's letter, Wan Anwar noted the reference to Article 62 of the Federal Constitution and questions that arise over which matter would take precedence.
Between the Federal Constitution and the parliamentary Standing Orders, Wan Anwar argued that the Constitution takes precedence above parliamentary affairs.
Razaleigh's letter is dated Sept 25, 2020, which is two days after PKR president Anwar Ibrahim publicly announced he had gained enough majority support to form a new government.
Azhar had responded to the letter, among others, asking the Gua Musang MP to liaise with Takiyuddin if he wanted priority to be given to a private member's motion.
The speaker also said the arrangement of the current Order Paper was done by his predecessor Mohamad Ariff.
Azhar subsequently wrote a comment piece reinforcing his stand on why a private member’s motion will not take precedence over government matters.