Upper House Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than in Thursday’s sitting of the chamber advised MPs to keep it classy, after an Arakanese lawmaker accused him of shooting down an urgent proposal submitted to the legislature last month.
Speaking to the media last week, the Arakan National Party’s Kyaw Kyaw Win accused Mahn Win Khaing Than of rejecting his urgent proposal, claiming the speaker decided his motion should not be discussed as an urgent proposal but rather only posed as a formal question.
During Thursday’s parliamentary sitting, Kyaw Kyaw Win was going to present another urgent proposal — “calling for undertakings to prevent further invasion from terrorists and invaders for the sake of the livelihood and security of all ethnic populations in Maungdaw district” — when the speaker addressed the MP’s remarks from last week.
The speaker said Kyaw Kyaw Win’s comments to the media about him were not true and could harm the image of the legislature.
“An MP, when pursuing parliamentary procedures, should first read the law thoroughly and make sure their motions are in accordance with the principles of the law, otherwise the speaker will not allow for discussion,” he said.
“Lawmakers are regarded as honourable people and it is not dignified to make false accusations — such as claiming the speaker said that which he really did not — or omit information that can create public misunderstanding.
“I would like to warn you to act and speak accordingly, with dignity.”
Kyaw Kyaw Win, following the speaker’s admonishment, withdrew the urgent proposal he had intended to submit on Thursday.
It was not immediately clear whether the proposal Kyaw Kyaw Win said Mahn Win Khaing Than rejected last month was similar or identical to the proposal he withdrew following the speaker’s remarks on Thursday. No proposal from the ANP lawmaker is recorded in a log of scheduled agenda items on the Upper House website dating back to the first day of the current legislative session, November 16.
There have been several disputes between speakers of the National League for Democracy-led Union legislature and the ANP over urgent proposals submitted by MPs from the ethnic Arakanese party since the new parliament convened in February.