Monday, June 14, 2021

Mahathir loses bid to challenge appointments of Dewan Rakyat speaker, deputy

Azhar Harun and Azalina Othman Said will remain as Dewan Rakyat speaker and deputy speaker.

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Azhar Harun and Azalina Othman Said will remain as Dewan Rakyat speaker and deputy speaker after the High Court today ruled that their appointments are valid.

This follows the decision of judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid to allow the application by Azhar, Azalina, and two others to strike out an origination summons filed against them by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four others to challenge the legitimacy of their appointments.

Kamal said after studying the oral and written submissions of both plaintiff and defendants, he found that the appointments were valid and cannot be questioned by the court.

“The first (Azhar), second (Azalina), third (Mohd Rashid) and fourth (Nizam Mydin) defendants’ originating summons to strike out the application is allowed.

“The court will not set any cost after being satisfied that the issue was indeed of public interest,” he said.

Kamal in his judgment said the pleading and the affidavits evidence showed that Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof had been removed from his office of speaker by way of a resolution and motion carried out by the Dewan Rakyat.

“At another stage of the said sitting of the Dewan Rakyat on that day, Azhar and Azalina were elected to the office of speaker and deputy speaker by way of a motion that was brought and passed by Dewan Rakyat,” he said.

The judge said Article 57 of the Federal Constitution expressly provides that it is the Parliament that determines the removal and election of the speaker and deputy speaker.

“I view that any kind of matter or issue concerning the removal and appointment of the speaker and the deputy speaker ought to be examined, discussed, and resolved in Parliament.

“The Parliament has exclusive jurisdiction over the matter and it has the absolute right to control its own proceedings.

“Indeed, the decision of the Parliament on July 13, 2020, to remove Ariff as speaker and to appoint Azhar and Azalina as the new speaker and deputy speaker is conclusive,” he said.

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