Govt changing Dewan Rakyat proceedings according to its whims and fancies, says Hamzah 

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin has lambasted the government for using its "majority power" to change the Dewan Rakyat's proceedings according to its whims and fancies.

At a press conference at the Parliament building today, Hamzah said the government's decision to introduce of a motion of thanks for the king disrupted Dewan Rakyat proceedings.

He said the royal address by His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia yesterday touched on the need to adhere to the house's procedures and rules.

"I have explained (in the lower house) that the government should not use its majority power however it likes.

"If we listened to the royal address by the king yesterday, then we need to know that there will be a slot for the prime minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) to talk (and thank the king).

"We can listen to him talk for hours if he wants to, but doing something out of the order of proceedings is an abuse of power," said the Larut member of parliament.

Earlier, a ruckus erupted in the Dewan Rakyat after Perikatan Nasional (PN) chief whip Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan questioned the government's sudden introduction of a motion of thanks for the king, saying that the opposition was not informed of the matter.

This comes after Minister in Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said raised a standing order to table the motion of thanks for the king. The motion was accepted by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul.

Takiyuddin said the sudden introduction of a motion could interfere with the MPs' debate of the king's speech.

"As lawmakers, we need to adhere to the house's rules. So why aren't we following the rules?

"We can do it (motion of thanks for the king) during the third week of this session."

Johari said the Standing Order raised by Azalina followed the house's rules.

"That is the rule. She submits a motion and I use my power to move it."

Later, opposition MPs staged a walkout during the prime minister's speech to congratulate His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim's appointment as the new king of Malaysia.

PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said introducing the motion of thanks was an "extraordinary" situation as the opposition was not informed about the slot provided to Anwar during the MPs' debate.

Muhyiddin, who is former prime minister, described the incident as "tyranny of the majority".

"This is tyranny of the majority. They do what they want without following the house procedures that have been in force for a long time just because they have the majority," said the Pagoh MP.

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