Melaka Changes State Speaker After Assemblymen's Heated 'Pengkhianat' And 'Babi' Brawl
Melaka has a new state Speaker following a heated dispute during the state assembly proceeding yesterday, 11 May
According to New Straits Times, Melaka UMNO Liaison chairman Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh has been appointed as the new state Speaker, replacing Datuk Wira Omar Jaafar from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
The new appointment came a few hours after the adjournment of the heated state assembly, which was started by former chief minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) faction.
Malaysiakini reported that Idris had shouted at Omar when the former speaker of the House was reciting a prayer to mark the commencement of the sitting.
Idris claimed Omar was not fit to be the Speaker as PH had already lost the majority seat in the state. He then demanded the House to allow motions to vote for Omar and his deputy Dr Wong Fort Pin's replacements.
While that was going on, another dispute erupted at the back between two assemblymen of different parties
Independent assemblyman Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee shouted 'babi' (pig) at DAP representative Low Chee Leong, while the latter retaliated by calling Norhizam a 'pengkhianat' (traitor).
"Babi! Babi! Babi! Babi!" shouted Norhizam at Low with a pointing finger.
Low responded, "Kau pengkhianat! (You're a traitor)."
Norhizam used to be a DAP member.
Videos of the altercation quickly went viral on Monday, with one video garnering over 5,500 shares in less than 24 hours.
The PH state government in Melaka collapsed on 2 March following a week-long political manoeuvre, dubbed as the 'Langkah Sheraton'.
Two PH representatives defected from the coalition to join PN and formed the state government with 17 representatives. The state has a total of 28 seats.
Following the brawl, neither Idris nor Norhizam has apologised for their actions
The duo stated that the opposition party was at fault first.
Idris defended his actions by contending that Omar had abused his power as the Speaker to reject motions to vote for the latter's replacement, reported The Star.
"What ensued in the Dewan was something that I consider as a 'new abnormal'," Idris told reporters.
"I told the Speaker that he has misused his power and has a conflict of interest. I, then, read out the standing order in regard to the election of a Speaker, which was rejected by the Speaker and the opposition."
When asked to confirm whether he did throw a book at the opposition, Idris admitted and reasoned that he was angry.
"The book was the assembly standing order book," Idris said.
What is the point of reading out the rule when no one was listening. So I threw it.
As for Norhizam who shouted 'babi' at Low, he said there is no need to apologise in a video statement yesterday. He said he reacted that way because he was provoked by six to seven opposition representatives.
He said he initially remained quiet despite the chaos in the House. But when he was insulted with words such as 'pig', 'traitor', and 'backdoor government,' he decided not to take it lying down.