Azmin dodges question on blocking Nga in Parliament

SENIOR Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali (Gombak-PN) dodged opposition questions in the Dewan Rakyat today, about whether he had interfered in parliamentary matters.“I challenge Azmin to say if he is the senior minister concerned. If he is brave enough, he should stand up and answer the question,” said Gobind Singh (Puchong-PH) during the morning’s question-and-answer session today.

Azmin did stand up but replied that he would not be responding to the question.

“I have courage, but this is the question-and-answer session. You as a lawyer should know,” said Azmin before his microphone was switched off by Deputy Speaker Rashid Hasnon (Batu Pahat-PN), presiding over the morning sitting.

The morning’s proceedings were interrupted after Khoo Poay Tiong (Kota Melaka-PH) asked if a senior minister had stopped Nga Kor Ming (Teluk Intan-PH) from presiding over yesterday’s Dewan Rakyat sitting as its deputy speaker.

“I see two senior ministers here today. Which senior minister abused his power?”

Besides Azmin, also in the house this morning was Hishammuddin Hussein (Sembrong-BN), the senior minister for defence.

According to yesterday’s news reports, a senior minister had called Azhar and asked him to retract his offer to Nga to chair yesterday’s afternoon sitting.

While Nga had confirmed accepting the offer, Azhar had yet to respond to the allegations that a senior minister had interfered in parliamentary matters. – TMI

Senior minister ‘interfering’ in speaker’s decision goes against reforms – lawyer

A senior minister allegedly blocking Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun from inviting an opposition MP to chair the sitting goes against the parliamentary reforms being touted by the government, lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla said.

“It would not only be wrongful interference unto the powers of the speaker but also against the spirit of the memorandum of understanding signed for reform of Parliament,” he said in a statement.

Haniff (above) was responding to a report yesterday that Azhar had invited DAP’s Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming, a former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker, to chair the House sitting but was blocked by an unnamed senior minister.

Azhar had previously also invited Umno’s Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said, another former deputy speaker, to chair the sitting, which she did.

This was amid a vacancy in one of the two Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker posts, which was supposed to have been filled on Sept 14.

However, the vote on this was postponed amid concerns that the government numbers could fall short due to protests by Bersatu.

Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government had nominated Umno’s Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan, who is standing trial for money laundering.

Haniff said with one of the seats still vacant, the workload would naturally increase.

Therefore, he added, Azhar would need assistance and it is within his powers to invite any member of the House to chair the sitting under Standing Order 7(3).

Haniff, who had previously served as a lawyer for former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said it was wrong for the executive to meddle in parliamentary affairs.

“Ismail Sabri should take the report seriously and if true, it is crucial that he corrects the matter.

“The minister responsible should apologise in the Dewan Rakyat and to Malaysians as well,” he said. MKINI