PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad this evening questioned the decision to only allow the royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during the much anticipated one-day sitting next Monday, adding it was an attempt to gag him from speaking.
The former prime minister said that he had planned to explain the reasons behind his no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin when the Dewan Rakyat convenes.
Mahathir, who is the Langkawi MP, said that normally MPs would be allowed to debate the king’s speech.
“But now we can’t debate it. This does not fulfil the rules of the Dewan Rakyat,” he said.
Earlier today, it was reported that the royal address by the King was the only agenda for the sitting.
Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusoff said he was informed of the changes by the prime minister.
Mahathir said now neither his motion nor those from the government could be tabled.
“So, what kind of sitting is this where we are to only listen to what the government has to say through the Agong’s speech?
“This is not a Parliament sitting.”
It was reported in 2016 that the government would prepare the Agong’s speech, a practice which is found in most other democratic countries, such as the United Kingdom.
Mahathir went on to say he was waiting to explain why he was pushing the no-confidence motion against his successor.
Last week, he wrote a letter to Ariff to allow a resolution stating that Muhyiddin does not have the majority support of MPs to be appointed as prime minister. Ariff then accepted the proposal.
“It looks like there is an attempt to stop me from speaking as an MP.
“What kind of government is this when an MP cannot speak?”
Opposition leaders have criticised the move to limit the Dewan Rakyat sitting to a single day.
The May 18 session will be the first time MPs are convening in Parliament since the change of government last March following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan administration.
The Dewan Rakyat was previously scheduled to sit for 15 days, from May 18.
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