Speaker rejects Mahathir’s bid to call for special Dewan sitting

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Yusof.

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Yusof today rejected a notice by Dr Mahathir Mohamad to call for a special sitting on Monday to allow MPs to elect a new prime minister, saying it could only be convened after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decides on the formation of a new government.

Ariff also said the notice submitted to him by the interim prime minister failed to fulfil Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Order 11(3), which required more details of a proposed motion.

“Under Standing Order 11(3), the notice and date should be issued by me in my capacity as the Speaker. So far, there is no notice issued,” he said in a short statement.

“Hence, I have decided that there will be no special Dewan Rakyat meeting on Monday, March 2.

“I will continue to observe current developments and future statements on the notice and date of the meeting will be made in due time.”

Mahathir announced yesterday that the next head of government would be elected in the Parliament on March 2, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had found that no one had a clear majority to form the government.

“And because there is no distinct majority, he (the King) says the right forum is the Dewan Rakyat. However, he said if the Dewan Rakyat failed to find a person with a majority, snap elections would be called,” Mahathir had said.

The Conference of Rulers had also convened a special meeting at Istana Negara today.

It is learnt that the meeting was to discuss the political crisis following the prime minister’s resignation after PPBM pulled out of the ruling coalition.