What’s in store for today’s Dewan Rakyat sitting as Muhyiddin’s legitimacy set to be put to test

Kenneth Tee
·4-min read
The Third Session of the 14th Parliament, which begins today, will span a total of 25 days until August 27. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
The Third Session of the 14th Parliament, which begins today, will span a total of 25 days until August 27. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government is expected to face its first real ‘test’ in the Dewan Rakyat this year since coming to power in March, as Parliament reconvenes once again after its one-day sitting on May 18.

Today’s meeting is expected to be a heated one with MPs likely to turn up in full force to debate several motions lined up for the day.

Among the motions moved include having the incumbent Dewan Rakyat Speaker and his deputy vacate their positions and a vote of no-confidence against Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime minister.

The motions are expected to take place once Ministers’ Question Time is over.

Malay Mail lists the four main agendas that are expected to be closely watched.

Motion of no-confidence against Muhyiddin

According to the Dewan Rakyat Order Paper, Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s motion of no-confidence against Muhyiddin is listed as the 27th out of 30 motions.

Since this is a private motion, government business will take precedence in the House’s Order of Business.

Muhyiddin was previously sworn in as the new prime minister heading the PN administration despite assertions from Dr Mahathir and Opposition MPs that the former did not have the necessary majority to be prime minister.

The motion would be Muhyiddin’s ultimate ‘test’ to determine whether he commands the support of MPs in the August House, failing which would require him to tender the resignation of the entire Cabinet under Article 43(4) of the Federal Constitution.

This would also mean that the prime minister could recommend that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong dissolve Parliament and subsequently pave the way for a general election or in His Majesty's opinion, appoint someone who commands the majority support of the MPs as the new prime minister.

Motion to replace Dewan Rakyat Speakers

Muhyiddin is also expected to move four motions to appoint former Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said to replace incumbent Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof and his deputy, Nga Kor Ming.

This is to be done according to Order 4(1) of the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat. The motions are listed as the second to the fifth motions in the House’s Order of Business.

The motion is expected to be fiercely debated as Opposition MPs are against the move to replace Ariff and Nga.

As this will be the first order of business after Ministers’ Question Time, the motion will answer once and for all whether Muhyiddin commands the support of the majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

Motion to replace Committee of Selection members

Muhyiddin is also expected to move a motion to propose new select committee members including Opposition leader Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Gombak MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

The others proposed as select committee members are Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (Larut), Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Bagan Datuk), Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (Petra) and Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (Marang).

They are expected to replace Muhyiddin, who is the Pagoh MP, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Bera), Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Pandan), Mohamad Sabu (Kota Raja), Datuk Darell Leiking (Penampang) and Tan Kok Wai (Cheras).

The Committee of Selection is a powerful committee that decides the number and composition of Parliament's various committees.

This composition also reflects the long-standing tradition of allowing only one member of the Opposition — usually the bloc’s leader — to sit in the Selection Committee.

MPs’ seating arrangement

With PN at the helm of the government, all eyes will also be on the MPs seating arrangements, particularly among the Opposition and Independent blocs.

This follows Dr Mahathir's recent announcement that he and five other MPs aligned with him will be an independent bloc inside and outside of Parliament, together with Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan).

Here are the latest seating arrangements, according to the Parliament's official website:

The Third Session of the 14th Parliament, which begins today, will span a total of 25 days until August 27.

While MPs are expected to debate the Royal Address, other Bills are also on the cards, including two Pakatan Harapan-era Bills for a second reading.

The Bills are the Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill 2019 and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 to impose a maximum two-term limit for someone to be prime minister.


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