Kit Siang: Proposed Deputy Speaker spot for Opposition first fruits of MoU

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was able to avert a possible defeat in Parliament yesterday courtesy of his confidence-supply-reform (CSR) agreement with the Opposition, Lim Kit Siang said.

Without the bipartisanship from the deal, Lim said Ismail Sabri’s government would likely have pressed ahead with a controversial election for a Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

“But with the CSR MoU, a new political landscape had started, and the deputy speaker election was postponed to the next Parliament sitting when the Federal Constitution would be amended to create a third deputy speaker post for the Opposition.

“It’s the first example of the cooperation between the government and the PH parties so that the priority is on ending the ‘longest’ Covid-19 wave in the world which caused two million Covid-19 cases and some 22,000 Covid-19 deaths in Malaysia,” Lim said in a statement today.

Yesterday, the government postponed the election of a Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker to allow for a constitutional amendment that would create a third such role, ostensibly to be held by an Opposition lawmaker.

The election was postponed to the next Parliament meeting, when Budget 2022 will be tabled, in October.

Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the government planned to table amendments to Article 57(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution then.

Despite resistance from several Opposition MPs, the motion to delay was passed by a voice vote.

Parliament has two Deputy Speakers, and one of the posts fell vacant after Umno’s Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said resigned in August. – MMO