A dark day for due process

Indians have a saying: you only need to taste one grain of rice to check if the entire pot is cooked.

Likewise, Azhar Harun’s first day of performance as Parliament speaker has set the tone for more disappointments in the coming days.

For starters, how can a person not elected by the Dewan Rakyat claim himself to be speaker and take his oath of office?

Secondly, why was the new appointment triggered when there was no vacancy in the office of the speaker, by dissolution of Parliament or otherwise?

And thirdly, there was no 14-day notice given to elect a speaker after Mohd Ariff Md Yusof was removed.

In short, the whole process was fundamentally flawed.

As a lawyer himself, Azhar should have known better. To be honest, refusing the appointment under such grave circumstances is more in line with who he is.

Instead, he rattled off an unconvincing debut speech as the new speaker, thanking lawmakers for appointing him. Maybe he was pacifying his conscience as the due process was sabotaged by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

We didn’t get to vote for a new speaker as we rightfully should. Instead, a backdoor government appointed a backdoor speaker.

And in the process, silenced our voices.

This is a travesty of justice. The first day of Parliament sealed parliamentary democracy in a coffin and tossed rule of law out of the window.

And I dread to think of what’s more to come.

Charles Santiago is Klang MP.

 

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

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