Saturday, January 23, 2021

Lawyer schools Ku Li after release of letter backing Dr M’s no-confidence motion

N Surendran says a private member’s motion can only be debated if a minister moves a motion to bring it up.

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A former PKR MP has questioned Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah over a letter he sent to the Dewan Rakyat speaker last month, criticising the move to disallow a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Lawyer N Surendran said the veteran Umno politician should have known the Parliament’s standing orders better.

“As a veteran MP, Ku Li should know that under standing orders a private member’s motion can only be debated if a minister moves a motion to bring it up,” Surendran said on Twitter.

The letter addressed to speaker Azhar Harun, dated Sept 25, referred to a no-confidence motion put forth by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad earlier this year.

Among others, Razaleigh said the no-confidence motion should have been prioritised in the order paper during the Dewan Rakyat sitting. He also urged Azhar for assurance that such a motion would be allowed to be tabled at the next sitting.

But in his reply late last month, Azhar said he had only followed existing rules in the standing orders, which state that government matters must be given priority.

“The claim that the prime minister did not allow the motion of no confidence to be debated by pushing it to the bottom of the order paper is not true as the motion was listed according to the standing orders, where government matters must take precedence as stated in the standing orders,” Azhar said.

Razaleigh, who was the first chairman of national oil firm Petronas, also accused Muhyiddin’s government of indulging in political gratification in exchange for MPs’ support.

He said he had been offered an advisory post in Petronas but that he turned it down in order to abide by the constitution.

Surendran said Razaleigh’s concerns on allowing MPs’ private motions should have been addressed by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, which had promised parliamentary reforms.

“The PH government could have amended the rules, but they did nothing,” he added.

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