KUALA LUMPUR: Former Umno president Najib Razak says he will let the party decide on the two MPs who did not join the mass walkout at the Dewan Rakyat earlier this morning.
He was referring to Khairy Jamaluddin and Anifah Aman, who remained in the Dewan as opposition MPs walked out to protest the manner in which former Court of Appeal judge Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof was appointed as the new speaker.
Najib said the protest was a decision by Umno.
“I leave it to the party to decide. They should explain to some extent why they did what they did,” he told reporters at the Dewan Rakyat today.
He added that the Pakatan Harapan government should follow all parliamentary rules.
“As the opposition, we want to stress the principle of adhering to the rules, and we want to uphold the concept of rule of law.
“It must be shown that the rules and regulations of the House are adhered to and respected on the first day of Parliament.”
Najib, who is MP for Pekan, said the government should also fulfil its promise to the people as they had elected the members of the Dewan Rakyat.
He said the opposition discovered via a statement from the deputy prime minister on July 9 that a speaker had been identified.
The opposition MPs contend that the speaker should have been appointed 14 days before Parliament convenes.
When asked how he felt as an MP, he replied: “I have accepted it. My priority is to attend to the people, and I want to be an opposition lawmaker who is constructive.
“I want to play a role in a healthy democracy,” he added.
Najib said he also hoped that the government would allow for a constructive democracy.
“When we were in government, we were always blamed.
“Now it’s time for them to give the opposition a chance to speak, which they have already denied in the appointment of speaker.”
He said the opposition was not opposed to the candidacy of the speaker, only the fact that the government had failed to follow the standing orders.