IPOH, Oct 23 — Newly appointed Perak Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Mohammad Zahir Abdul Kalid warned state lawmakers today that he will reject any motion raised in the House next week that does not follow its Standing Orders.
The state legislature will reconvene for one day on October 27 as the country battles the Covid-19 scourge.
Mohammad Zahir said motions to be tabled for debate should be submitted to the assembly’s secretariat office 14 days before the sitting, adding that he had not received any since October 13, the cut-off date.
“Therefore, any motion raised suddenly during the one-day siting will be rejected,” he told a press conference at the State Secretariat Building here.
He said the state Opposition Leader Abdul Aziz Bari had not mentioned any motion to be raised at the next sitting when they met two days ago.
Mohamad Zahir said all assemblymen, department chiefs, assembly’s administrators and journalists who will be attending the one-day sitting next Tuesday will be required to take a Covid-19 test three days prior, meaning by this Sunday.
He said the measures are necessary to prevent the virus from spreading further.
“We will also follow strict standard operating procedures such as maintaining physical distancing, wearing face mask, checking temperature and providing sanitisers throughout the sitting,” he said.
He added that press conferences can only be held at the designated press conference room during the sitting even as he said media coverage is limited to official media only.
He said journalists from other news agencies can follow the proceedings streamed “live” on YouTube and Facebook.
Mohamad Zahir will be presiding over his first sitting next Tuesday. He replaces Sungai Manik assemblyman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin who was controversially appointed a temporary Speaker in the last state assembly sitting to officially adjourn that session.
Former speaker Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham had criticised Mohamad Zahir for being an appointed instead of an elected speaker.
During the previous meeting of the assembly, Ngeh adjourned matters without giving way for the appointment of a new Speaker as he said proposals for his replacement should be submitted in writing seven days before the start of proceedings.
This triggered uproar as Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said that the meeting may not be adjourned without a new Speaker being named. This was met with a walkout by the entire Opposition flank, led by Aziz Bari.
Ahmad Faizal proceeded to nominate Zainol who is also his adviser, to temporarily chair the session.
Ahmad Faizal then proposed Mohammad Zahir as the new Speaker, which was adopted by all the Perikatan Nasional assemblymen and Independent assemblyman.