Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) walked out of the Dewan Rakyat earlier today, 16 July, in the first parliamentary sitting since the historic 14th General Election
The walkout, led by Opposition leader Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, followed the appointment of former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as the new Dewan Rakyat speaker, according to theSun.
Free Malaysia Today reported that the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) MPs were displeased with Ariff's appointment, as it did not adhere to standing orders.
Ariff's appointment was proposed by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, and supported by Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Following the walkout, Ahmad Zahid claimed that they have evidence to prove that Ariff's appointment as Dewan Rakyat speaker is "illegal"
theSun reported the Opposition leader as saying that Ariff's name was not submitted at least 14 days before the parliamentary sitting.
The requirement is stipulated in the standing orders of the Dewan Rakyat.
"We are against the way the speaker was appointed. The Dewan Rakyat rules were not followed," Ahmad Zahid was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today at a press conference held after the walkout.
UMNO supreme council member Datuk Seri Azalina Othman added that the opposition will be verifying the legality of Ariff's appointment.
"What we (opposition) need to do now is talk to the secretary of the (Dewan Rakyat) because she claimed the appointment was legal. We need to check," Azalina was quoted as saying by theSun.
UMNO secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said legal action is being considered to challenge Ariff's "illegal" appointment.
He also claimed that the outgoing speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia was informed by a parliament staff that no names for the Dewan Rakyat speaker had been submitted after the 2 July deadline.
Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin was seen asking his fellow members of opposition to remain seated during the walkout, but to no avail
The BN MPs who remained on the opposition bench after the walkout were Khairy, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, and Datuk Rozman Isli.
After the walkout, Khairy's resilience was hailed by netizens on Twitter, including Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)'s vice president Rafizi Ramli.
Nonetheless, Opposition MPs were seen returning to the Dewan Rakyat later on to be sworn into office
According to Malay Mail, Opposition MPs were sworn in after members of the Cabinet and Pakatan Harapan MPs at 11.45am.