ANN/THE STAR – It was a rowdy start to the new Parliament session, which led to Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim warning Members of Parliament (MPs) that it is the prerogative of the Speaker to take action against those who misbehave.
“We will give full support if action has to be taken, even against MPs from the unity government,” he said.
Anwar told MPs across the divide to watch their conduct and not turn the august House into a circus.
He reminded them that parliamentary proceedings were broadcast live and Malaysians nationwide were watching their behaviour. “We can differ in opinion and argue, but we must uphold the sanctity of the House and not go overboard.
“The people will laugh at us if they watch this Parliament turn into a circus,” he said in his speech before tabling the Consolidated Fund (Expenditure on Account) Bill 2022 in Parliament on Tuesday.
Anwar added that Deputy Prime Minister Fadillah Yusof, who is also the parliamentary chief whip, has informed MPs to watch their behaviour in Parliament.
“They were told to respect the rules of the House. I hope the same will be ordered by the Opposition Chief of Perikatan Nasional,” he said. Anwar also congratulated Johari Abdul on being appointed the new Dewan Rakyat Speaker.
“I know that this is a challenging job, after seeing the antics (by MPs) on Monday,” he quipped.
During debates on the Confidence Motion on Anwar’s premiership on Monday, the House saw many fiery shouting matches between MPs across the political divide.
Heated arguments began when Shahidan Kassim stood up and said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s words shouldn’t be used to influence parliamentary proceedings, which drew loud rebukes from other MPs.
Proceedings became even more tense when Hamzah Zainuddin cited a controversial report from a little-known Italian news agency called Agenzia Nova.
After Hamzah delivered his speech, Mohd Sany Hamzah stood up and called Awang Hashim a beruk (ape).
This earned Johari’s ire, and the Speaker slammed the gavel twice and told Mohd Sany to sit down.
Johari, who presided over the meetings, warned MPs that those who spoke without permission would be sent out of the House.