Pandikar: Did Speaker Ariff agree in writing to be nominated?

Former Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia has questioned the validity of Mohd Ariff’s election.

KOTA KINABALU: Former Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia has raised another question about the validity of the election of the new speaker, Mohd Ariff Md Yusof, which had caused an opposition protest in Parliament on Monday.

Pandikar questioned whether Mohd Ariff’s nomination had met a requirement that he agree in writing to be nominated two weeks before the first day of Parliament being called into session after a general election.

“If the Speaker-elect has not signed a letter of consent for him to be proposed as the Speaker two weeks before the date then the prime minister’s motion to nominate the person is not in accordance with the provision of Standing Order 4,” Pandikar told FMT.

“The person who makes the nomination has to inform the secretary of the Dewan Rakyat 14 days before or on the first day of the parliamentary session of his intention of nominating someone,” he said.

If no such notice had been given as required, then it could rightly be said that the government had ignored or overlooked the provision of that standing order.

“If that was the case, the proper thing to do would have been not to proceed with the election of the Speaker on that day and fix a new date in order for the government to have ample time to abide by the rule.

“The name of the person to be nominated as Speaker must be made known by the proposer in writing to the secretary at least 14 days before the day that the Speaker is to be elected,” he said.

On Monday, MPs of the opposition Barisan Nasional and PAS claimed that the Pakatan Harapan government had failed to meet the requirement and asked that the Dewan Rakyat sitting should be suspended for 14 days.

The day before, Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa, MP for Ketereh, questioned whether the government had followed procedures and made the nomination in time, and also asked whether the nomination letter had been backdated.

The government has said the letter nominating Mohd Ariff had been sent to the house on July 2. Ariff himself had said that the secretary of the Dewan Rakyat had confirmed that notice of his nomination was given on July 2.