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Parliament Speaker Art Harun Walks Out After Petronas Asset Seizure Ruckus Erupted In Dewan Rakyat

Parliament Speaker Art Harun Walks Out After Petronas Asset Seizure Ruckus Erupted In Dewan Rakyat

Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis demanded the Parliament discuss the recent seizure of Petronas’ subsidiaries in Azerbaijan by the alleged descendants of the Sulu sultanate.

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Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun left the Parliament following a heated argument with several MPs over the rejection to debate the seizure of Petronas assets by self-proclaimed Sulu Sultanate descendants, The Vibes reported.

Azhar, popularly known as Art Harun, earlier refused the motion submitted by Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Kota Belud-Warisan), stating that the matter had been discussed at length in the last Dewan Rakyat sitting.

Azhar also denied there was a conflict of interest on the matter as his brother Tan Sri Idrus Harun, was the Attorney-General, saying that “I don’t even speak to him about work. And if anything happens in the Dewan Rakyat which will touch on issues related to him, I will exclude myself from making a decision. Therefore, that is my decision on this.”

This however failed to appease Isnaraissah who continued to call for the issue to be debated, stating that it is a matter of national sovereignty.

The report stated that the argument went on for another 20 minutes before Azhar decided to walk out of the sitting, where he was relieved by Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon.

Mohd Rashid, who is also the Batu Pahat MP, however, failed to control the heated argument, as Isnaraissah refused to buck down and demanded a date to be set to debate the issue.

“This is the third time I have submitted this motion to be tabled, but it has been rejected all three times. This is about the sovereignty of the country. 

“I demand for the speaker to give me a date for this motion to be accepted and debated. Give me a date!” Isnaraissah said in the middle of Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan’s speech.

As Isnaraissah continued to speak up, Rashid ordered for her to be ejected from the Parliament for two days. However, she refused to leave the Dewan Rakyat while several Pakatan Harapan lawmakers formed a human barricade around her which prevent the Sergeant-at-Arms (bentara) from escorting her out.

Mohd Rashid later retracted his ruling after more and more MPs calls for the decision to be rescinded.

Last week, London-based Financial Times reported that the lawyer of the so-called Sulu heirs had seized two of Petronas subsidiaries – Petronas Azerbaijan (Shah Deniz) S.à r.l. and Petronas South Caucasus S.à r.l. – which was reported to be worth more than USD2 billion (RM8.87 billion).

In its reply, Petronas said that it believed that the actions taken against it as “baseless” and that it is “working vigorously to defend its legal position on this matter.”

READ MORE: Petronas: Azerbaijan Asset Seizures Baseless, Legal Defense On Its Way

Meanwhile, de-facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the cabinet had agreed to set up a special task force to examine, monitor and formulate appropriate legal action to address the issue.

The task force, which will be led by Wan Junaidi, will also comprise Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, and international arbitration experts.

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