Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi
(born 26 November 1939) is a Malaysia
n politician who served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2009. He was also the President of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the largest political party in Malaysia, and led the governing Barisan Nasional parliamentary coalition. He is informally known as Pak Lah
, 'Pak' meaning 'Uncle' while 'Lah' is taken from his name 'Abdullah'.
After Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad sacked Anwar Ibrahim, he appointed Abdullah as Deputy Prime Minister. Abdullah went on to succeed Mahathir as Prime Minister in 2003.
In the 2004 general election
General elections were held in Malaysia on March 21, 2004. The incumbent National Front government of Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was re-elected with an increased majority.-Election results:...
, Abdullah scored a significant victory. In the 2008 general election
The 12th Malaysian general election was held on March 8, 2008, in accordance with Malaysian laws for national elections, which states that a general election must be held no later than five years subsequent to the previous elections; the previous general election was held in 2004...
, the Barisan Nasional won a slim majority of seats, thus enabling Abdullah to remain in office as Prime Minister. He stepped down in favor of his successor, Najib Tun Razak, during the UMNO General Assembly held on 1 April 2009. On 3 April 2009, he was succeeded by Najib Tun Razak as Prime Minister. Abdullah was then conferred the title Tun by his majesty Mizan Zainal Abidin for his service to the nation.
Background and early life
Abdullah Badawi was born in Kampung Perlis, Bayan Lepas, Penang to a prominent religious family. Badawi's paternal grandfather, Syeikh Abdullah Badawi Fahim
Syeikh Abdullah Fahim is a Malaysian nationalist and religious scholar. He was Penang's first mufti after Independence. He is also the paternal grandfather of former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi....
, was of Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...
descent. Syeikh Abdullah was a well-respected religious leader and nationalist, was one of the founding members of Hizbul Muslimin, later known as PAS. After independence, Syeikh Abdullah became the first mufti
A mufti is a Sunni Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law . In religious administrative terms, a mufti is roughly equivalent to a deacon to a Sunni population...
of Penang after Independence. His father, Ahmad Badawi, was a prominent religious figure and UMNO member. His maternal grandfather, Ha Su-chiang (also known as Hassan), was a Utsul
Muslim who came from Sanya
Sanya is the southernmost city in China and is a part of Hainan Province. In 2006, it had a population of 536,000, making it, after the provincial capital , the second most populous city on the island. The city is renowned for its tropical climate and has emerged as a popular tourist destination,...
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...
Abdullah Badawi is a former student of Bukit Mertajam High School. He studied in MBS(Methodist Boy's School) Penang for his 6th form. After failing to enrol into his first choice course, economics, Badawi opted to pursue a Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...
in Islamic Studies
In a Muslim context, Islamic studies can be an umbrella term for all virtually all of academia, both originally researched and as defined by the Islamization of knowledge...
from the University of Malays.
After graduating from the University of Malaya, he joined the Malaysian Administrative and Diplomatic Corps (the formal term for the civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....
). He served as Director of Youth at the Ministry of Youth and Sport as well as secretary of the National Operations Council (MAGERAN). He resigned in 1978 to become the member of parliament for his constituency of Kepala Batas in northern Seberang Perai
Seberang Perai / Beseran Darul Hidayah, formerly Province Wellesley, is a narrow hinterland opposite Penang island on the Malay Peninsula, which together with the island forms the Malaysian state of Penang. Its principal town is Butterworth...
(which had also been represented by his late father), which he still represents today.
Early during Mahathir's tenure as prime minister, a bitter dispute erupted within the ruling UMNO party and it was divided into two camps, which were colloquially known as 'Team A' comprising Mahathir loyalists, and 'Team B', which supported former Minister of Finance Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh bin Tengku Mohd Hamzah is a major Malaysian political figure from the state of Kelantan, and a former Finance Minister. He is an uncle of the current Raja Perempuan of Kelantan. Tengku is a Malay hereditary title usually translated as prince...
and former Deputy Prime Minister Musa Hitam
Tun Musa bin Hitam , is a Malaysian politician and a former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, serving under Mahathir bin Mohamad. He was born in Johor Bahru, Johor in 1934...
. Mahathir prevailed, leading to the exclusion of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah from the newly-established UMNO (Baru) or New UMNO. Abdullah was a close supporter of his political mentor Musa Hitam in Team B and as a result, he was sacked from his post of Minister of Defence in the cabinet. He did not join Semangat 46 (Spirit 46) party which was set up by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Semangat 46 is now defunct.
When UMNO (Baru) was formed in Feb 1988, the then UMNO President and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad brought Abdullah into the protem committee of UMNO (Baru) as the Vice President. In 1990, Abdullah retained his seat as Vice President. During the Cabinet reshuffle in 1991, Mahathir brought him back into the Cabinet as Foreign Minister. He held this post until November 1999 when Syed Hamid Albar
Tan Sri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar , is a Malaysian politician and the former Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs. He is currently the chairman of the Land Public Transport Commission. He is also a member of the United Malays National Organisation , part of the ruling Barisan Nasional...
succeeded him. Even though he lost his Vice Presidency in the 1993 UMNO elections, he remained in the Cabinet and was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. Prior to 1998, he had also served as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Minister of Education, Minister of Defence, and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He completed his probation when he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and Minister of Home Affairs following the dismissal of Anwar Ibrahim.
Upon coming into power as prime minister, Abdullah Badawi promised to clamp down on corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...
, thus empowering anti-corruption agencies and providing more avenues for the public to expose corrupt practices. He also arrested several public figures from the Mahathir era for corruption, a move which was widely applauded by the public. He advocated an interpretation of Islam known as Islam Hadhari
Islam Hadhari or "Civilizational Islam" is a theory of government based on the principles of Islam as derived from the Qur'an...
, which advocates the intercompatibility between Islam and economic and technological development. His administration emphasized a revival of the Malaysian agricultural sector.
In the 2004 general election, Abdullah Badawi's first as prime minister, he delivered a landslide victory for his party's coalition National Front (of which UMNO is the dominant party) by winning 198 out of 220 seats in parliament and wresting control of the Terengganu
Terengganu is a sultanate and constitutive state of federal Malaysia. The state is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Iman...
state government from the Islamist opposition Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS), as well as coming close to capturing the traditional PAS stronghold of Kelantan
Kelantan is a state of Malaysia. The capital and royal seat is Kota Bharu. The Arabic honorific of the state is Darul Naim, ....
. The victory was widely regarded as an approval of his vision of moderate Islam over religious fundamentalism as well as support for his anti-corruption policies.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, upon his release from prison in September 2004, publicly credited Abdullah Badawi for not interfering with the court's overturning of his sodomy
Sodomy is an anal or other copulation-like act, especially between male persons or between a man and animal, and one who practices sodomy is a "sodomite"...
On 10 September 2004, Abdullah Badawi, as Finance Minister, presented his maiden budget, which was seen by many as maintenance-oriented as opposed to the growth policies emphasised by Mahathir.
Abdullah Badawi also focused on Malaysia's internal security after the increase in corrupt practices, such as bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...
, in the Law enforcement in Malaysia. Upon coming into power as prime minister, Abdullah Badawi clamped down on corruption, giving more power to anti-corruption agencies and making it easier for the public to reveal corrupt practices to the authorities. He has also arrested several Mahathir-era cronies on charges of corruption, a move which was widely applauded by the public. He advocated an interpretation of Islam known as Islam Hadhari, which maintains that Islam and economic and technological development are not incompatible.
Abdullah Badawi is unofficially known as Pak Lah
(Malay diminutive for "Uncle Abdullah"). The Malaysian government issued a statement that the prime minister should not be referred to by this nickname in official articles and in newsprint; however, the nickname was still used informally. In fact, Abdullah Badawi often used that nickname to refer to himself during public gatherings.
Abdullah Badawi was heavily involved in foreign policy making. He was the chairman of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference since the start of his premiership in 2003. As of 2005, he was the chairman of the ASEAN. He also served as chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...
from October 2003 until September 2006.
Abdullah Badawi declared an end to the economic legacy and grandiose projects of his predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, during the 57th UMNO General Assembly. He told delegates that he would not pursue the economic strategies adopted two decades ago by Mahathir.
He said that in the past, wealth was generated not by innovation and creativity, but by foreign investment, government contracts, and privatization.
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...
are some of the highlighted issues in 9MP
Ninth Malaysian Plan abbreviated as '9MP', is a comprehensive blueprint prepared by the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Department and the Finance Ministry of Malaysia with approval by the Cabinet of Malaysia to allocate the national budget from the year 2006 to 2010 to all...
that the government believes such sectors are still able to generate wealth for many Malaysians, especially those in rural areas.
In late 2005, Badawi successfully led Malaysia into a historic free trade agreement with Japan enabling the two countries to scrap tariffs on essentially all industrial goods and most agricultural, forestry and fishery products within a decade.
Under the Abdullah Badawi administration, the country is moving down to a value chain economy by developing its inherent strengths in agriculture without losing its existing manufacturing base. However, Abdullah has been criticized as to his handling of the sudden hikes in the price of petrol and electricity through the restructuring of government subsidies, especially as it is detrimental to Malaysia's position as a traditional exporter.
50 years of nationhood
On 31 August 2007, Abdullah Badawi shouted 'Merdeka
Merdeka is a word in the Indonesian and Malay language meaning Independent or freedom. It is derived from the Sanskrit Maharddhika meaning "rich, prosperous and powerful". In the Malay archipelago, this term had acquired the meaning of a freed slave...
!' during the midnight celebrations of Malaysia's 50 years of nationhood. The celebrations were held at Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square may refer to:*Merdeka Square, Jakarta- The central park of Jakarta with National Monument rise in the center to commemorate the Indonesian independence....
, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the second largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of , has a population of 1.4 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million...
, where thousands of people had congregated. This was a symbolic gesture which emulated the actions of Malaya's first Prime Minister, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman
Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, AC, CH was Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya from 1955, and the country's first Prime Minister from independence in 1957. He remained as the Prime Minister after Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore joined the...
, when the latter declared independence from the British in 1957.
Abdullah Badawi won a second term as Prime Minister by winning the 12th General Election, held in March 2008, with a reduced majority. He also lost four additional states to the opposition (Kedah
Kedah is a state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area of over 9,000 km², and it consists of the mainland and Langkawi. The mainland has a relatively flat terrain, which is used to grow rice...
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...
Perak , one of the 13 states of Malaysia, is the second largest state in the Peninsular Malaysia bordering Kedah and Yala Province of Thailand to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east, Selangor the Strait of Malacca to the south and west.Perak means silver in Malay...
Selangor also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Ehsan, or "Abode of Sincerity") is one of the 13 states of Malaysia. It is on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and is bordered by Perak to the north, Pahang to the east, Negeri Sembilan to the south and the Strait of Malacca to the west...
). Although his party, Barisan Nasional, suffered a major setback, Abdullah Badawi vowed to fulfill the promises in his manifesto amid calls from Mahathir, the opposition and even among UMNO members for him to resign. However, his deputy, Najib Razak, and others in his party voiced unreserved support for his leadership. It took a while before open dissent started brewing at grassroots levels, with petition and campaigns being launched to ask for his resignation.
He was sworn in for a second term as Prime Minister on 10 March 2008. Badawi unveiled a streamlined 68-member Cabinet 18 March 2008, dropping half the ministers in his previous administration and keeping the crucial finance portfolio for himself.
Abdullah faced a political crisis not only from the onslaught of the Opposition which gained much ground by taking the richest and most important states (Selangor and Penang, which incidentally is the hometown of Abdullah Badawi). He also faced growing discontent from within his own ranks in the UMNO party. The son of the former premier, Mukhriz Mahathir
Dato' Mukhriz bin Tun Dr. Mahathir is the third son and fifth child of former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah. He is currently the Malaysian Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry. He held various posts of several business firms, which include...
, openly called for him to step down. The UMNO Youth chief, Hishammudin did not take any action against Mukhriz and dismissed it as a personal opinion.
Abdullah was under heavy pressure to step down after many within his UMNO party including former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad openly asked him to take full responsibility on the dismal performance during the 12th general election in March 2008.
He initiated two significant changes in the system after the general election by declaring the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) to be fully independent and initiated judicial reform proceedings in the aftermath of the V.K. Lingam Royal Commission of Inquiry.
Regarding the live telecast in Dewan Rakyat
The Dewan Rakyat is the lower house of the Parliament of Malaysia. All bills must usually be passed by both the Dewan Rakyat and the Dewan Negara , before they are given Royal Assent by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong...
(the first time since after the 12th General Election), Abdullah said he was ashamed at what had transpired in the Dewan Rakyat on 30 April 2008 (Wednesday) and agreed that live telecast of the proceedings should be scrapped. He said what happened was just “too much.”
"I felt ashamed if people watched television and saw what was happening in our Dewan. In my heart, I also felt that all this happened because there was a live broadcast at that time." said the Prime Minister.
There were many ideas from the government MPs and opposition MPs. Some MPs suggested that the live telecast should not be scrapped to let the people know what was really happening in the Dewan Rakyat and judge the MPs in conducting the people's voice in the parliament. The live telecast of the proceedings is to be continued to show that there is transparency and to let the people know how the MPs are behaving and debating.
On 19 May 2008, the dispute between Mahathir and Abdullah reached a "shocking" stage when Dr Mahathir, who had served as UMNO President for 22 years, announced that he was quitting the party after having lost confidence in Abdullah Badawi's leadership, and that he would only rejoin the party after Abdullah had stepped down as UMNO President and Prime Minister.
On 15 September 2008, Abdullah's cabinet Minister in Prime Minister Department Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim submitted his resignation letter to the Prime Minister. He tendered his resignation as a protest to the government's action in detaining a blogger, a member of parliament and a reporter under the Internal Security Act. Abdullah later accepted his resignation.
Transfer of Power
On 10 July 2008, Abdullah announced he would step down as UMNO President and Prime Minister in June 2009.
Abdullah Badawi handed his resignation letter to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on 2 April 2009. The Deputy Prime Minister, Najib, was officially sworn in as the Prime Minister the following day. Abdullah was then conferred with a "Tun" title by the Agong. Nevertheless, shortly before he resigned, Najib gave promises to Abdullah that his constituency in Kepala Batas would continue to receive development funds, where he would continue to serve as its Member of Parliament.
On 20 October 2005, Abdullah Badawi's late wife, Endon Mahmood
Tun Endon Mahmood Ambak was the first wife of the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. She died from breast cancer on 20 October 2005.She was also known as Kak Endon.-Early life:...
, died of breast cancer. Endon discovered the disease in 2003 while her twin sister Noraini, who had earlier been diagnosed with the same illness, died in January 2003. She received treatment in the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
and returned to Malaysia 18 days before her death. She is buried at a Muslim cemetery, at Taman Selatan
Taman Selatan or Southern Park ' is a cemetery in Putrajaya, Malaysia. It is analogous to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, USA....
, Precinct 20, Putrajaya
Putrajaya is a planned city, located 25km south of Kuala Lumpur, that serves as the federal administrative centre of Malaysia. The seat of government was shifted in 1999 from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya, due to the overcrowding and congestion in the Kuala Lumpur areas...
On 6 June 2007, the Prime Minister's office announced Abdullah Badawi's marriage to Jeanne Abdullah. On 9 June, a private ceremony was conducted at the Prime Minister's residence, Seri Perdana
Seri Perdana is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. It is located in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Construction began in 1997 and was completed in 1999. The building shares similar architecture with Perdana Putra. The first resident of this house was Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad,...
and attended by close relatives. Jeanne was formerly married to the younger brother of Abdullah Badawi's late wife. She was also a manager at the Seri Perdana residential complex and has two children from her previous marriage. However, earlier in March that year, the premier dismissed rumours about his plans to remarry even though the rumours have been circulating more than a year.
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is known also as a poet. His poem I Seek Eternal Peace was translated into more than 80 languages and published as a book.
After moves to charge prominent figures such as Eric Chia and the then Land and Co-operative Development Minister, Kasitah Gaddam, with corruption, Abdullah Badawi's administration's efforts to combat corruption allegedly became less transparent. It was noted by the Economist that little progress has been made on curbing corruption.
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been criticized for allowing his brother Fahim Ibrahim Badawi to buy 51 percent of the government-controlled MAS Catering Sdn Bhd. Fahim later sold this stake to Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...
's LSG Skychef at a huge profit.
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been criticized for allowing his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin
Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar is a Malaysian politician, and the son-in-law of former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Since 2008, Khairy has been a member of the Malaysian Parliament representing the constituency of Rembau...
, to become unduly influential in UMNO politics.
Iraq Oil-for-Food Scandal
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been criticized for endorsing his relatives who were involved in abuses related to the Iraqi Oil-for-Food Programme
The Oil-for-Food Programme , established by the United Nations in 1995 was established with the stated intent to allow Iraq to sell oil on the world market in exchange for food, medicine, and other humanitarian needs for ordinary Iraqi citizens without allowing Iraq to boost its military...
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been criticized after one of his son's companies was found to be producing components for centrifuges purported to be intended for use in Libya's secret uranium enrichment program.
Concerns and disputes by Mahathir Mohamad and UMNO
In 2005, it was alleged that under Abdullah Badawi's administration, there had been a significant increase in cases of cronyism
Cronyism is partiality to long-standing friends, especially by appointing them to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications. Hence, cronyism is contrary in practice and principle to meritocracy....
regarding the distribution of import permits for foreign-manufactured vehicles. Then Prime Minister Mahathir had called for an investigation of the issue. Later, Mahathir Mohamad criticized Abdullah for cancelling a number of development projects that the former had started, such as the construction of a bridge to replace the causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...
. Mahathir also alleged that Abdullah Badawi had originally offered to permit the Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...
to fly over Malaysian territory and sell sand to Singapore in exchange for an agreement on constructing the bridge. Mahathir construed this as an instance of "selling" Malaysian sovereignty.
In 2006, Mahathir stepped up his criticism against Abdullah Badawi, alleging that freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...
under Abdullah Badawi had actually decreased. Mahathir also added that the media refused to publish Mahathir's comments. He had accused Abdullah Badawi of reneging on promises he made to Mahathir related to government policies, and in his strongest criticism thus far, said in June 2006 that Abdullah Badawi had betrayed his trust. Mahathir expressed regret in picking Abdullah Badawi as his successor and said that he had originally intended for Abdullah Badawi's deputy, Najib Tun Razak, to succeed him. Najib, who was on a state visit to India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...
, immediately expressed unreserved support for Abdullah Badawi.
Vote of no confidence to Abdullah Badawi in Parliament
In June 2008, the Sabah Progressive Party
The Sabah Progressive Party is a political party based in Sabah, East Malaysia. It was registered on 21 January 1994 by dissidents led by former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee from Parti Bersatu Sabah . Formerly a component party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, SAPP officially...
, a member of the 14-party ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, said its two legislators in the federal parliament will move or back a motion of no-confidence against Abdullah.
Malaysia has never experienced a serious no-confidence vote before and it is unclear what is the next step if, in the unlikely event, Abdullah loses the vote; whether a snap election is held, or whether the King dissolves parliament, or whether a new leader is given the opportunity to form a new government. No Malaysian Prime Minister has ever faced a vote of no-confidence presented by a member of his own coalition before. The Barisan Nasional has 140 lawmakers in the 222-member Parliament, enough to defeat any vote against Abdullah who is also president of the UMNO.
Nevertheless, the motion was rejected by the Speaker on the basis that there were no grounds for the motion to be put forward.