Tuesday, July 21, 2020

UMNO continues to act demeaning and racist and the exhausted new Parliament Speaker

  Malaysian Mirror       Tuesday, July 21, 2020
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The Parliament sitting on 13 July 2020 commenced and ended in chaos due to a series of demeaning behaviour and verbal exchange displayed by its members – first, on the motion to remove its Speaker Tan Sri Dato' Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof to be replaced with Dato’ Azhar Harun that was deemed unjust as only two members from the government and opposition were allowed to debate on it, and then on the abrupt end to the session at 3.30pm due to the racist remarks made by Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim to Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patho after Azhar Harun took over the afternoon session. Not forgetting the commotion due to the sudden announcement on the resignation of deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming, whom Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman Said was named as a replacement.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin only kept silent over the motion to remove Mohamad Ariff while Law Minister Dato’ Takiyuddin Hassan spoke mostly on the prime minister’s behalf despite being greatly urged by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tun Mahathir to justify. Though Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) government gained 111 votes for the motion against 109 from the Pakatan Harapan (PH), the win was so slim that UMNO youth chief Dato’ Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki cynically mocked it on his Twitter account, giving the impression that UMNO is adamantly wanting for a Parliament dissolution and a possible general election. During the session, UMNO members of Parliament were mostly seen and heard as very vocal in defending PN and Muhyiddin Yassin, while Bersatu and PAS representatives only ‘chipped in’ whenever needed. Muhyiddin Yassin was ‘invisible’.

Azhar Harun, who has since been labelled “the backdoor Speaker” was seen equally racist and biased as he abruptly stopped the afternoon session by allowing Takiyuddin Hassan to motion a postponement to the next day when the commotion from both sides of the hall was still hyping. The new Speaker was also seen ignoring and refusing to listen to matters highlighted by the opposition representatives until opposition leader Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim voiced it out. Shah Alam MP, Khalid Samad was first asked to leave the hall the moment Azhar Harun found him annoying, but none of the racist and offensive remarks made by the government representatives were not axed nor attended to by him. Was this a good start for the Malaysian Parliament? Will the Parliament continue to be a stage for UMNO representatives to ridicule others, display their foolishness, and utter provocative statements?

By Adillah Jaafar

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