Muhyiddin: Cabinet’s plan to ‘contact’ Speaker unprecedented, concerning

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today questioned the government’s plan to contact the Dewan Rakyat Speaker over allegedly misleading remarks by Opposition lawmakers in Parliament, calling this interference with the independence of the legislature.

The former prime minister said parliamentary privilege granted lawmakers the right to speak their minds in the legislature, adding that Parliament also has rules governing the conduct of its MPs.

“It is strange, it has never happened in the history of the country since independence. What the MPs want to say is the right of the MPs. You disagree, that’s a matter of your right to disagree.

“But the right of an MP — from the government or the Opposition — to discuss a matter, follow what has been set in the Standing Order that have been agreed by the Speaker,” he said in his closing remarks at the PN representatives Convention 2024 here.

He also questioned what the Cabinet would have to discuss with the Speaker that was not already in the Standing Orders, and said that while the plan was unusual and unprecedented, it was not unexpected from the current government.

Yesterday, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the Cabinet has agreed to contact Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul over some allegations made by Opposition MPs during the debate on the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address that could mislead the House.

Earlier today, former deputy law minister Ramkarpal Singh criticised the plan, saying it would make it appear as though the government was directly involved in the affairs of Parliament.

Parliament is already seen as subordinate to the government after the repeal of the Parliamentary Services Act in 1992 during the first Mahathir Administration gave the Prime Minister’s Department control over its administration and funding.