Elected deputy speaker should quit their party posts - Bersih

·2-min read
Elected deputy speaker should quit their party posts - Bersih
Elected deputy speaker should quit their party posts - Bersih

Editor's Note: The previous copy of this article erroneously cited Bersih as saying the next deputy speaker should quit their party. This has been amended.

Umno's Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan or DAP's Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming should resign from their party posts if they are elected as the new Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker, says electoral reform group Bersih.

It said the position should not be seen as a monopoly of political parties.

"Whether it is Ahmad or Nga who is elected as the Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker, they should resign or at least take leave from their political party (posts) as both hold key positions in their party," it said.

Ahmad is the Umno secretary-general while Nga is the Perak DAP chairperson.

Their resignation from their party posts is important to show the Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker is truly independent, free of party influence, fair, can focus on House issues, and upholds the Standing Order without fear or influence by party interests, Bersih said.

The group also expressed concern at Ahmad's ongoing trial involving money laundering and giving a false statement to the MACC.

"Can the government guarantee that he won't use his position to escape his charges?

"There is also concern that he could use the Parliament sitting as an excuse to postpone his trial which will be an affront to the sanctity of Parliament," it said.

Bersih also urged the duo to detail their parliamentary reform plans.

"Bersih would like to stress that the position of Dewan Rakyat speaker and deputy speaker is not supposed to be gatekeepers for the executive on motions and bills or to limit the opposition."

Ahmad is the government's sole nominee for the Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker position, which fell vacant after Umno's Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said resigned. Nga is the opposition's sole nominee.

The election is expected to take place next Tuesday (Sept 14).

A motion to replace Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun was rejected.

Meanwhile, Batu Gajah MP V Sivakumar questioned if Azhar will be comfortable with someone facing money laundering charges as his deputy speaker.

"To date, he has not shown the courage to speak up about Ahmad's nomination.

"In the past, Azhar was believed to be a respected reformist but today he appears to have lost the principles of his struggle," the DAP lawmaker said.

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