COMMENT | I am aware of the discussions going on, most particularly after the correspondence between Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and I was made public and after my media statement last evening.
Allow me to address two burning issues, namely:
Whether the speaker has the power within the boundary of the laws or convention to speed up the debate of a private member’s motion of no-confidence in the Dewan Rakyat; and,
Whether a motion under Standing Order 18(1), namely, to discuss a defined matter of urgent public importance could be used to circumvent the order of business of the Dewan Rakyat so that a motion of no-confidence could jump the queue and be debated before government business.
The order of business of the Dewan Rakyat
This comes under Standing Order 14(1). Essentially it says, among others, the order of business is as follows:
- Messages from the king;
- Minister’s question time;
- Questions for ministers for oral answers;
- Motion on matters of urgent public importance;
- Government bills;
- Motions relating to the Order of Business (to be moved by a minister);
- Motion on non-government bills;
- Other items of business in the order they appear on the order paper.
It is clear from the Standing Order 14(1) that apart from