An offer Art Harun couldn’t refuse

It was a historic day in Parliament today as a Dewan Rakyat Speaker was removed and a woman was elected deputy speaker for the first time ever.

In an unprecedented move, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin flexed his muscles to show he has command, albeit, narrowly, as his motion to replace Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof was passed.

Muhyiddin’s motion garnered 111 votes for to 109 against. Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Rashid Hasnon didn’t vote as the Batu Pahat MP chaired the meeting as Kota Marudu MP Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili was on medical leave.

This is the first time a Speaker has been removed in this manner.

Following Mohamad Ariff’s removal, Muhyiddin tabled a motion to elect Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, the former Election Commission chairman, as his replacement.

This was met by a chorus of disapproval from the opposition as they felt there was no need to replace Ariff.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said: “The reason given for this motion is that there is a new nominee.

“The nomination cannot happen unless there is a vacant position. Where is the vacancy? If there is no vacancy, then the nomination cannot be made.”

“And if there is a vacancy, a notice should be given to all MPs in order for us to also be able to nominate someone. This is a very basic procedure,” Gobind added.

While all this was going on, the other Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming announced his resignation. This paved the way for Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said to be elected the first woman deputy speaker.

Azhar later told reporters he was invited to be Speaker by the government, without specifying who made the offer he couldn’t refuse.

“I was invited to be the Speaker by the government and that was the reason I resigned as the EC (Election Commission) chairman. This is an honour for me and my family,” said Azhar, whose brother Tan Sri Idrus Harun is Attorney-General.

“It is a big challenge but I accepted the offer as I want to serve the nation,” he added.

Here’s the news round-up of The News Normal today.

ANWAR IS OPPOSITION LEADER

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been accepted as Opposition Leader by the Dewan Rakyat. The august House is confident the Port Dickson MP has the majority support.

JUDGE US FAIRLY, SAYS CHIEF JUSTICE

Chief Justice of Malaya Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat says judges must accept criticism but said it must be constructive and unbiased.

“The reality is that, no matter how impartial we are or how detached we are from politics, our decisions will be viewed from a political perspective or with a political flavour because unfortunately, public perception of the judiciary is shaped by the political landscape,” she said.

E-BEAUTY PAGEANT

This year’s Miss Universe Malaysia event and gala night will go online as the organiser plans to live-stream the annual pageant due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (MUMO) national director Datin Elaine Daly said the pageant would be on the e-Gala online platform on the Miss Universe Malaysia website on Sept 5, with the show kicking off at 5pm. She said there would only be a panel of judges and contestants present at the competition.

13 MILLION COVID-19 CASES AND RISING

The worldwide number of Covid-19 cases surpassed 13 million today while there are more than 571,000 deaths.

Mexico has overtaken Italy as the country with the fourth-highest death toll with over 35,000 fatalities. The United States (137,782), Brazil (72,151) and the United Kingdom (44,819) have higher death tolls.

KELLY PRESTON LOSES BATTLE TO CANCER

Kelly Preston, wife of actor John Travolta, has died after a two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 57. Travolta, her husband of 29 years, announced the news on his Instagram account.

She is survived by Travolta and two children. Her son Jett died in 2009.

MANCHESTER CITY OVERTURNS UEFA BAN

Manchester City has successfully appealed a two-year ban from all UEFA Cup competitions with the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling in its favour. While the ban has been lifted, a fine remains in place. It, however, has been reduced to €10 million from €30 million.