Yesterday, 27 July, the evening parliamentary sitting was thrown into disorder after a fiery exchange between a Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmaker and the Deputy Speaker took place
The dispute between Jelutong Member of Parliament (MP) RSN Rayer and Deputy Speaker Azalina Othman Said was initiated by a probe into the national assets under PH.
Jempol MP Mohd Salim Sharif raised the issue. He alleged that the previous government sold national assets prior to its collapse.
To this, Rayer immediately stood up and raised Standing Order 36(6) which states, "No member shall impute improper motives to any other member."
"Ask Gombak (Mohamed Azmin Ali) and Ampang (Zuraida Kamaruddin) who are the traitors that led to the collapse of PH," snapped the Jelutong MP.
Refusing to let the Jempol MP respond, Rayer was told by Azalina to "sit down!"
As Rayer continued to press Salim on the matter of assets, Azalina interfered saying, "YB Jelutong, YB already asked. This is Jempol's floor. Sit down, let Jempol answer."
Rayer immediately fired back, "No Speaker, are you going to allow him to continue like this?"
"No that's not the point. The point is that, you asked a question YB, sit down. Let him answer. If the two of you are standing up, how am I supposed to focus?"
"Alright then, I'll wait for the answer."
However, as the Jempol MP carried on with his speech and avoided answering the question, Rayer stood up once again.
"If you are not brave enough to answer, don't make an allegation!"
A shouting match between the Jelutong MP and the Deputy Speaker then ensued
It started off calmly with Azalina warning, "Jelutong, I know you are a learned counsel but I am the speaker chairing. Under Standing Order 35, you must allow the chair to make the decision whether you can stand or even ask questions."
She reminded the lawmaker, “Don't hijack the microphone… I know you are a very articulate lawyer, but please respect…"
But before she could finish her sentence, Rayer said, "Likewise speaker, I know you are very learned as well so you must not allow…"
"See! I'm not finished also, you intervene (sic). If you are in court, the judge will put you in jail because of contempt," Azalina said.
There was audible laughter from surrounding MPs, including Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin and Jempol MP Salim Mohd Sharif.
Rayer retorted by saying, "Judges do not throw people behind bars for no reason."
Growing impatient, Azalina urged the Jelutong MP, "Please sit down and let me finish. I already asked Jempol if he wanted to answer or not. It's his floor, leave it up to him. This is democracy. Let them speak."
The heated exchange ended with Azalina counting down from five and issuing Rayer with an ultimatum
After much back and forth between the two, Rayer questioned why Azalina was getting frustrated.
"There's no reason for you to get angry with me. Why are you getting angry."
"You don't have courtesy. Look, are you challenging me?" quipped Azalina.
"I'm not challenging you."
"Then sit down. Either you sit down or I will ask the officer to accompany you out."
Seeing that the Jelutong MP was hesitant to return to his seat, the Deputy Speaker raised her voice saying, "I'm going to count. Five, four, three, two, one. Sit down! Sit down!"
Subsequently, Rayer sat down, ending the six-minute exchange.
Earlier this month, the Jelutong MP stood up for a fellow PH lawmaker after a derogatory comment was directed at her: