PM’s bid to remove speaker, deputy is to avoid no-confidence vote, says ex-minister

Former de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong says the bid to remove the Dewan Rakyat speaker and his deputy is unconstitutional.

PETALING JAYA: A former law minister claimed Muhyiddin Yassin’s move to remove the Dewan Rakyat speaker and his deputy was made to evade the no-confidence motion against him as prime minister next month.

Liew Vui Keong also argued that Muhyiddin’s motion was unconstitutional.

In a statement, the Batu Sapi MP said the timing of the unprecedented motion “reeks of executive interference in the affairs of the legislative branch of the state”.

He said the doctrine of separation of powers, which Malaysia practises, stipulates that the government, Parliament and judiciary are three separate and independent organs of a state.

These three branches, he said, could not simply meddle in the affairs of another.

However, Liew said this was what Muhyiddin had done, by seeking in his capacity as prime minister to remove Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof and his deputy, Nga Kor Ming.

“His motion is hence mala fide (in bad faith) with a vested personal interest in its outcome.

“It unconstitutionally flies in the face of our Federal Constitution, breaching the doctrine of separation of powers, and is unacceptable,” he said.

Liew said Muhyiddin has neither offered any reason or grounds on the need to remove Ariff and Nga who, he said, have been extremely professional in executing their duties and have been impartial.

He called on the prime minister to explain in the public interest his motion to remove them.

He said Muhyiddin must stop showing blatant disregard and disrespect for the Federal Constitution and explain his interference in Parliament’s affairs immediately.

“He is not beyond reproach, nor is he above the Federal Constitution. He must be held accountable,” he said.

Ariff, who was appointed speaker after the 2018 general election, was quoted as saying that Muhyiddin had submitted the motion to his office.

In May, Ariff accepted the proposal by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for a motion of no confidence against Muhyiddin.

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