Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan has been advised to withdraw from contesting the post of deputy speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, due to take place next month.
Umno Supreme Council member Mohd Puad Zakarshi said MPs of Bersatu are unlikely to give their backing to Ahmad, even though his name was proposed by the prime minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob,
In a posting on Facebook, Puad said a vote in the Dewan Rakyat last week had been postponed because of a lack of sound support for Ahmad.
Ahmad Maslan, who is Umno secretary-general, was among the Umno MPs who withdrew support from then prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Bersatu president.
Puad said Bersatu supporters had left comments such as “If you don’t support (us), why do we have to support (you).”
There was no guarantee that MPs of Pakatan Harapan would also support Ahmad even if a second position of deputy speaker is made available for an opposition MP.
Umno and its partners in Barisan Nasional command 41 seats in the Dewak Rakyat, while Perikatan Nasional holds 54, of which Bersatu has 31 seats. Pakatan Harapan, which has a confidence arrangement with the government bench, commands 90 seats.
The post of deputy speaker fell vacant when Azalina Othman Said resigned on the eve of Muhyiddin’s resignation as prime minister.
Ahmad and Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming of DAP are contesting the post.
The minister for parliamentary affairs, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, said last week that the vote on the deputy speaker’s post was postponed to allow for the creation of three positions of deputy speaker. – FMT