Malaysia swears in new lawmakers in historic Parliament sitting; opposition MPs stage walkout

By On July 15, 2018

Malaysia swears in new lawmakers in historic Parliament sitting; opposition MPs stage walkout

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Retired judge Mohamad Ariff Yusof during the swearing in ceremony as the Speaker for the 14th Parliament, on July 16, 2018.
Khairy Jamaluddin in the Dewan Rakyat on July 16, 2018.
Published2 hours ago

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia began swearing in its lawmakers in Parliament on Monday (July 16), the first time the Pakatan Harapan alliance will be sitting on the government bench.

The historic sitting, which also sees Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad returning to Parliament as premier, convened for a swearing-in ceremony for all 222 MPs, the Parliament Speaker and Deputy Speakers.

As widely expected, retired judge Mohamad Ariff Yusof was sworn in as Speaker. The announcement was made by Tun Dr Mahathir though opposition MPs objected to it and staged a brief protest walkout before they could be sworn in.

"We a re not objecting to the choice of Speaker but the process by which he was named as candidate," said Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, an Umno lawmaker and former deputy prime minister who is now the opposition chief. He was accompanied by fellow lawmakers from his coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) and opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).

Opposition lawmakers said the new government had appointed a Speaker without following the two-week due notice.

Ninety new lawmakers will take their oaths - the highest number of new MPs since Parliament first convened in 1959. It includes a college student who will be the Lower House's youngest MP.

BN has been reduced to three parties from 14, with only 51 MPs in the aftermath of the May electoral result. It still forms the largest opposition bloc, with PAS holding 18 seats.

BN's former allies in Sarawak have 19 seats, while several BN Umno MPs have left the party to act as independents.

Former prime minister Najib Razak was present at the sitting. He faces graft charges over misappropriation of public funds during his tenure in office.

The oath-taking ceremony will be followed by the election of two Deputy Speakers.

The Parliament sitting will be held for 20 days until Aug 16.

On Tuesday, the Malaysian king, Sultan Muhammad V, will officially open the first session of the 14th Parliament.

The last Dewan Rakyat sitting was on April 5 before Parliament was dissolved on April 7 to make way for the general election.


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Source: Google News Malaysia | Netizen 24 Malaysia

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