Sad Case Of A Turncoat 'Speaker'

“With all respect, I request an assurance that the no-confidence motion will be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat as a priority in the next sitting,” Razaleigh said in the letter addressed to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun.

Malaysiakini is seeking the speaker’s comment on the above matter.

Azhar had responded to Razaleigh on Sept 29 through a letter in which he said the Standing Orders stated that government matters must be prioritised over other matters.

He also pointed out that private motions submitted by MPs were arranged in the Order Paper in the order they were submitted.

Not only that, he said the arrangement of the current Order Paper was actually done by his predecessor Mohamad Ariff Yusof.

Azhar said any MPs could provide notice to the speaker’s office to table a motion and he would consider it based on the Standing Orders.

Our comment

Gone is the popular crusader for reform and justice in ‘Art’ Harun. In his place a full-blown traditional toady grovelling to the prime minister of the day – Pandikar would be proud of him.

Once a mere young ambitious lawyer with an opposition bent and a youtube comic presence on the side, he now has ‘status’, as a non-elected Speaker appointed by the leader of a backdoor coup, who needs him to manage Parliament against the wishes of the majority of MPs whom he is SUPPOSED to represent.

Dump the reformist aspirations and sink into the plush comfort of the chauffeur-driven car with a string of personal flunkies to support one’s life.

One of the key reforms the old Harun would doubtless loudly have supported would have been for the Speaker to be elected by MPs from amongst their own, as with most developed democracies (not an unconstitutionally appointed, non-elected servant to the PM, like himself).

Yet here we see him embracing all the old tricks, deplored by himself and his intellectual reformist friends not so long ago, whereby BN Prime Ministers corruptly abused the Speaker to prevent unfriendly votes being called and to control Parliament, instead of allowing Parliament to fulfil its sovereign role.

That sort of Speaker only operates in a sham Parliament and by his answers to this call for a vote by a senior politician who is addressing the major issue of the day, namely the loss of the confidence of the majority of MPs in ‘PM8′, Harun has demonstrated he is now willing to sign up to the same old despicable practices to protect his “Boss Man”…. and keep his fancy salary, perks and ever so important ‘status’.

Speaker Harun is therefore predictably arguing that ‘Government Business’ ought to be addressed instead and indicates no time will be available in the sparse calendar where MPs are paid for a full-time job but scarcely ever sit.

So, what is the sort of business that Speaker Harun does find time for? At the last truncated sitting of Parliament in July, out of a total of 25 days 11 were spent debating the King’s opening address. Then a further 5 days were spent on Minister’s replies. A mere 8 days were then allowed for  ‘Bills & Government Business‘.

No time spare in such a schedule for a swift vote to test who really leads the country?

Such pantomimes should end and the first step should be a reform bill that demands the Speaker should henceforth be elected by MPs to serve the wishes of the sovereign representatives of the people and not by the prime minister to protect himself from negative debates and certainly not to protect a couple of jumped up rebels who have snatched power from a rightfully elected government.

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