: The much-anticipated Dewan Rakyat sitting today saw the substitution of a sitting Speaker amid an uproar and the approval of five government motions before the House adjourned for the day earlier than scheduled.
The new Speaker, Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, who was subjected to heckling even as he took his oath and delivered his speech, also ordered opposition Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad out of the House for the rest of the day.
Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof had to vacate the seat of Speaker after the bloc voting resulted in 111 MPs voting for the motion to remove him and 109 voting against. Kota Marudu MP Maximus Johnity Ongkili did not attend the sitting while another MP abstained.
Although the majority of votes for the motion requiring Mohamad Ariff to vacate his seat was slim, it nevertheless showed that the Perikatan Nasional government led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has the support of MPs and negated the opposition claim to the contrary.
The proposed election of Azhar, 58, the former Election Commission chairman, to replace Mohamad Ariff had been objected to by the opposition all along.
Azhar took his oath of office in the afternoon, when the House reconvened after lunch, even as the opposition MPs continued with their heckling as they sought to nominate a candidate of their choice for the post as well and have another election.
As anticipated, the sitting being held in the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saw MPs from both sides of the divide arguing with and heckling one another soon after Muhyiddin tabled the motion for the Speaker to vacate his seat.
The motion to have Mohamad Ariff replaced was objected to by the opposition MPs who urged Muhyiddin to provide a strong reason for doing so and not just because there was another candidate for the post.
Questioning the need to remove Mohamad Ariff, who was deemed to have done well since being elected in July 2018 after the formation of the Pakatan Harapan government, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and several other opposition MPs pointed out that the reason there is another nomination did not hold water.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, when winding up the debate on the motion, explained that changes to key positions including that of Dewan Rakyat Speaker are normal when a new government takes charge.