Shahidan: Opposition could be considered for Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker

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Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government could consider an opposition candidate as the new Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker, said Umno’s Arau MP Shahidan Kassim. 

The position was made vacant following the resignation of Azalina Othman Said on Monday.

“We will see what is proposed by the opposition.


“It (proposed candidate) would be considered if the response is the same as how DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng responded to the offer to sit on the National Recovery Council (NRC),” Shahidan was quoted as saying by The Star.

This would be in line with the “Malaysian Family” approach by the new prime minister, he added.

Shahidan said it is likely that the post of deputy speaker would be decided by lawmakers when the Dewan Rakyat convenes on Sept 6.

“It is for the cabinet to decide on the candidate,” he said, adding that others may also propose their candidates for the post, and this will result in a ballot to be taken.

On Aug 23, Azalina resigned as deputy speaker with the hope to “reset” Parliament.

Her resignation follows the installation of a new government under Ismail Sabri.

Azalina was among 15 Umno MPs who had withdrawn support for Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime minister, leading to the collapse of his 17-month-old coalition government comprising Perikatan Nasional (PN), BN, PAS, GPS, PBS and independent MPs.

In his inaugural speech as the prime minister, Ismail Sabri had emphasised the concept of the “Malaysian Family” and urged the government and opposition MPs to close ranks.

He offered to involve the opposition in the special committee on Covid-19 and the NRC and is prepared to meet them to sort out the details.

Lim said DAP is ready to consider the offer if it is genuine instead of an attempt to have the opposition there simply to rubber-stamp any decisions made by the government.

Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun confirmed yesterday that notices have been sent to lawmakers to pick their candidates for deputy speaker.

“If there is only one candidate, there will not be any voting required. The procedure is simple. Any MP can now nominate a candidate by giving a notice, preferably a 14-day notice.

“If there is more than one, there will be voting by ballot but no debates,” he was quoted as saying by The Star, adding that the appointment of a new deputy speaker would be the first business at the very next sitting after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s royal address. – Malaysiakini