Art Harun takes speaker’s seat amid noisy Dewan

Azhar Azizan Harun has been appointed as the new Dewan Rakyat speaker following the removal of Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.

KUALA LUMPUR: MPs continue with shouting matches today as former Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun takes his seat as the new Dewan Rakyat speaker, following a noisy debate over motions to appoint him following the removal of Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.

“I consider this a trust given to me,” Azhar said in his first speech as the speaker, which was frequently interrupted with “boos” from Pakatan Harapan MPs.

Azhar urged MPs to work towards strengthening the parliamentary system, including to question the government’s actions.

The session today also saw Azhar, better known as Art Harun, sending out Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad for interrupting his speech.

Earlier, DAP’s Ngeh Koo Ham (PH-Beruas) protested the move to appoint Azhar, saying a 14-day notice on the replacement should be given before any changes were made.

“Otherwise, it is not fair to other MPs as no other names were given because there was no vacancy,” he said.

In response, Takiyuddin Hassan said adequate notice was served for the move.

During his speech, Azhar touched on checks and balances in a constitutional democracy. “Just as the party in power must act responsibly, so must the opposition,” he said.

He thanked Ariff for his services and urged MPs to extend their cooperation to him.

M Kulasegaran (PH-Ipoh Barat) was allowed to raise a point of order stating that there was no due process taken before the appointment of the new speaker.

“I hope this is taken into consideration. You created history by being appointed with so much of noise. I hope you will search your conscience,” he told Azhar.

Earlier, bloc voting was held to remove Ariff as the speaker. It was approved by a narrow vote of 111 from the government MPs against 109 from PH MPs.

The motion to remove Ariff and appoint Azhar was tabled by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

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