Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof today announced the appointment of an officer in charge of parliamentary affairs at the Prime Minister’s Department as the new Dewan Rakyat secretary.
Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin replaces Riduan Rahmat, who has been made the secretary of the upper house, Dewan Negara.
This comes after Riduan, who was appointed in February, had sent out a notice to all members of Parliament about the change in agenda for May 18’s sitting.
In the letter, he said the prime minister had informed Parliament that May 18 was restricted to the royal address.
Not even government matters on financing for Covid-19 mitigation packages will be on the agenda, unlike the notice that was first issued to MPs on April 17.
With the change of agenda, Perikatan Nasional will no longer have to face the possibility of debating Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
The 56-year-old Riduan, who was the former Dewan Negara secretary, replaced long-time Dewan Rakyat secretary Roosme Hamzah on February 22.
Roosme retired after her one-year contract extension expired in February after serving as secretary since 2007.
Riduan holds a Bachelor of Administration and Business (Human Resource Management) degree from Universiti Teknologi Mara and a Master of Social Science (Political Science) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
Riduan joined Parliament in 1989 and had been the Dewan Negara secretary since September 2014 before his Dewan Rakyat appointment.
Nizam was a former lawyer who joined the government service as an Administrative and Diplomatic Service Officer (PTD) at PMO in 2005.
The Malay Mail reported that a source from the Parliament said that the matter was likely caused by a no-confidence motion from the Opposition against Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“SUDR (Secretary to the Dewan Rakyat) was said to try to keep the no-confidence motion by Tun Dr Mahathir and Datuk Seri Shafie a secret,” said the source who wished to remain anonymous.
Senator Yusmadi Yusoff confirmed the matter to Malay Mail today, questioning the validity of the move as Riduan was appointed to the position less than three months ago by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
He also said that the PN government should not interfere with Parliament appointments.
“The SUDR post is a prestigious post that was appointed by and with the consent of Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
“Riduan is an experienced Parliamentary staff which has been vital in Parliamentary independence and reforms over the years and he was appointed through the Parliamentary Services Act.
“The government after 2018 has always prided itself on focusing on Parliamentary reforms and the independence of the Parliament,” he told Malay Mail
Yusmadi added that Parliament should be administered by qualified candidates under the separation of powers doctrine as enshrined under the Federal Constitution.
“Anyone who replaces Riduan should be an independent, experienced, and qualified personnel.
“It should not be someone from the executive branch which will be biased towards the government.
“I want the PN government to explain the matter,” he said.