PETALING JAYA: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul says he is open to criticism, as long as it happens outside the august House.
“Unlike the previous speaker, I will take action against any comments in the Dewan Rakyat that question my credibility and decisions.
“However, anyone can criticise me outside of the Dewan Rakyat,” he told RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong), who asked whether he would take action against people criticising him outside of the Dewan Rakyat.
On Friday, Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin questioned Johari’s credibility as the speaker, claiming he had treated opposition MPs unfairly in debates.
Hamzah, who is the opposition leader, said Johari is the first speaker with no legal background, adding that his predecessor, Azhar Harun, did a better job because he “was not a politician”.
“We are not calling for the speaker to be removed, we just want him to be fair and to follow the set procedure,” the Larut MP said.
Asked whether he found Johari incompetent, Hamzah said: “I can’t say yes or no to that, but I just think he is not fair.”
PN chief whip Takiyuddin Hassan claimed that Johari had barred opposition MPs from asking ministers three additional questions during the question-and-answer session, though this is provided for in the Standing Orders.
“They only allow two additional questions,” the Kota Bharu MP said.
“We would like to request that, in parliament, the opposition be given rightful treatment based on the constitution.”
Johari said he would not make an issue of MPs criticising him publicly.
“They can call me unqualified or uneducated, but I won’t make it an issue.
“I am here to serve the Dewan Rakyat. Outside, they can say I’m stupid or not qualified, it is not my business,” he said.