KUALA LUMPUR: A heated exchange between RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) and Deputy Speaker Azalina Othman Said saw the latter warning that a judge would have thrown him in jail for contempt.
It all started after Mohd Salim Sharif (BN-Jempol) said Pakatan Harapan sold national assets before the collapse of the previous government.
Rayer stood and raised Standing Order 36(6) saying: “Ask Gombak (Mohamed Azmin Ali) and Ampang (Zuraida Kamaruddin) who are the traitors who led to the collapse of PH?”
Azalina then told Rayer to sit down and asked Salim if he wanted to reply to Rayer, to which he said no.
Rayer then accused Salim of not being brave enough to answer his question.
Azalina again told Rayer to sit down so Salim could continue his debate.
“I know you are a learned counsel. But I am the speaker, chairing (this sitting). Under Standing Order 35, you must allow the chair to decide if you can ask a question.
“I know you are an articulate lawyer but please have (some) respect,” she said.
To this, Rayer said: “Likewise you are also learned, so you must not allow (accusations by backbenchers).”
At this point, Azalina became impatient as Rayer did not listen to her.
“I have not finished but you have intervened. If you are in court, the judge will put you in jail,” Azalina told him, adding that this would be for contempt of court.
Rayer retorted and said: “Judges do not throw people behind bars for no reason.”
Azalina then told Rayer not to teach her to do her job and to sit down.
Azalina: A lot of MPs have debated over a lot of allegations. You say it is democracy, then let them speak.
Rayer: But you cannot accuse the judge. The judge will not simply put anyone in jail.
Azalina: YB, sit down. Don’t hijack the floor. Don’t hijack the microphone. Have some courtesy.
Rayer, sensing Azalina’s impatience, said there was no reason for her to get angry with him.
Removing her face mask, Azalina asked Rayer if he was challenging her and issued an ultimatum.
“I am going to count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Sit down or I will call the officer (to accompany you out),” she said.
Rayer subsequently sat down.