Opposition MPs walk out as Mohamad Ariff takes oath as Parliament Speaker

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrives at the first Parliament sitting post-GE14. Photo by: Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf

Dr Mahathir being sworn in at Parliament today. Photo by: Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 16): Former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof took his oath as the ninth Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat at the first meeting of the first session of the 14th Parliament.

Mohamad’s swearing-in marked a historic change for Malaysia following the defeat of Barisan Nasional in the recent general election after 60 years of administration.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said  Mohamad was confirmed as the new Speaker in a letter dated July 2, 2018 to the Parliament Secretary.

However, the swearing-in was marred by a walkout staged by Umno and PAS members of Parliament, led by Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang in protest against the procedure relating to Mohammad’s appointment.

“We are not against his appointment but we do not agree to the procedure in which he was appointed. Mohamad was only a nominee. It  did not fulfill the 14 days notice period stipulated by the House’ Standing Orders,” Zahid told reporters outside the Parliament hall.

He asked that the House delay the session by 14 days to ensure that the orders are adhered to.

It should be noted that Rembau MP and former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, and two others did not join the walkout.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Mohamad Ariff, 69, is proficient in commercial law, banking, securities, arbitration, constitutional and administrative law.

He has a Bachelor of Law from University of London (London School of Economics) and started his career in 1974 as a law lecturer before becoming an associate professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Malaya.

Mahathir was sworn in as the Langkawi Member of Parliament at 10.26am followed by his deputy, Pandan MP Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ibrahim, and the rest of the Pakatan Harapan cabinet members and MPs.