Malaysia’s Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V gave his first address to the country’s parliament since the new government was formed after the May 9 elections.
Throwing the kind of subtle shade we’re used to seeing from our dear Prime Minister Mahathir, he told parliamentarians to “please be seated, don’t run away.”
The lighthearted comment referenced yesterday’s antics by opposition parties Barisan Nasional and PAS, who staged a walkout shortly after taking their seats during their first day at work.
Most of the opposition’s MPs left the Dewan Rakyat in protest of the timeline surrounding the appointment of Mohamad Ariff as the new Speaker of Parliament. They claim that his letter of candidacy was “backdated,” and that they were not given the nomination 14 days before appointment, as was the law.
The stunt did little to change the course of events, with Ariff being sworn in, but the commotion was further sensationalized by the opposition men who refused to take part in the stunt.
Khairy Jamaluddin, Anifah Aman and Rozman Isli, sat firmly in their seats and waited for the storm to pass, so everyone could get back to work.
Both sides seemed to find humor in the Agong’s joke, although we wonder whether those who participated in the walkout understood that all of Parliament, including Malaysia’s head of state, were now laughing at their showboating antics.