KJ, Anifah remain in Parliament as opposition stages walkout

Esther Landau

KUALA LUMPUR: Rembau member of parliament Khairy Jamaluddin and Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman were the only opposition lawmakers who remained in Parliament as their colleagues staged a walkout this morning.

Opposition lawmakers from Barisan Nasional and Pas walked out of Parliament this morning in protest over the appointment of former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as the new Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

Khairy and Anifah, however, did not follow suit. It is currently unclear why they chose not to follow their colleagues out the hall.

Chaos broke out in Parliament when the motion for Ariff's appointment was tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and seconded by his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Their protests came to a head when Kota Baru MP Takiyuddin Hassan (Pas) interrupted the Dewan Rakyat secretary while she was announcing Ariff’s appointment.


NSTP/ASYRAF HAMZAH

The Pas MP kept shouting out “point of order!” and repeatedly asked if this was the “Malaysia Baharu (New Malaysia)” which had come about after the 14th General Election (GE14).

Ariff took his oath this morning after his nomination was announced by Dewan Rakyat secretary Datuk Seri Rosmee Hamzah. No other names were proposed for the post.

The opposition MPs staged the walkout during Dr Mahathir’s tabling of the motion. Despite the brouhaha, Dr Mahathir flashed a smile and continued with the tabling.

In a press conference later, Umno president and opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Ariff’s appointment did not adhere to the 14-day notice period stipulated by the House’ Standing Orders.

Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa later told reporters that the opposition is considering legal action against the government for not adhering to the norms and procedures in appointing the Dewan Rakyat Speaker. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd