Dewan Rakyat speaker retracts Pendang's four-day suspension

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul has retracted Pendang member of Parliament Datuk Awang Hashim's four-day suspension in Dewan Rakyat.

The decision was made after Awang had "tarik balik" (withdrawn) his remarks which caused Johari to issue the suspension ruling.

However, both parties did not clarify the remark made by Awang in Dewan Rakyat earlier that led to his ejection.

"Of all the opposition leaders, I respect Pendang the most. He is my friend, and used to be my officer, but when I told him to retract his statement, he denied to do so by saying 'I will not retract'.

"I am your friend, but when I am chairing the Dewan Rakyat, you must show some respect.

"When I tell you to retract your statement, what's wrong with saying 'Speaker, I apologise and I retract'?" questioned Johari.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, who was about to debate on the King's royal address, interjected and asked Awang to retract his statement so the Speaker can review his ruling.

Hamzah: Before I begin, I want to ask Pendang to retract his statement so the Speaker can (allow him to stay).

Johari: No, I have said four days.

Hamzah: Don't argue, Pendang, just apologise, and retract your statement, will you?

Awang: If it is like this, then I apologise and I retract.

Johari: I agree (to withdraw my ruling and allow him to stay). Thank you, opposition leader.

Earlier, the ruling was made by Johari after the opposition had questioned the government's submission of the motion of thanks on the King of Malaysia's royal address in Parliament yesterday.

The ruckus erupted after Perikatan Nasional (PN) chief whip Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan questioned the sudden motion as they were not informed of the matter.

Takiyuddin also said such changes in the proceedings would interfere with the royal debate scheduled to take place among lawmakers.

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