Election of deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker moved to next session

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A general view of the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur November 2, 2020. — Bernama pic
A general view of the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur November 2, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — The election for the new Dewan Rakyat deputy Speaker that was supposed to be held in Parliament today has been postponed again to the next session

The postponement was tabled by de facto law minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar who is also in charge of parliamentary affairs.

The motion was supported by his predecessor Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, who is currently energy and natural resources minister.

No reason was given for the delay, but the motion was approved as there was no objection raised either.

This is the second time the election of the deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker has been postponed.

On September 14, Wan Junaidi said the reason for suspending the appointment of a new deputy speaker is because the government is seeking to table amendments to the Federal Constitution, namely Article 57(1)(b), to allow deputy speakers to be increased from two to three and that the third position be chosen from Opposition lawmakers.

“The amendments mean that irrespective of who is the government of the day, one of the deputy Speakers will have to be from the Opposition,” he said.

The minister said he hopes the motion will be tabled for its first reading by next month after discussing the matter with the Attorney General.

He said the government hopes that the motion will be passed in October.

However on Oct 7, Perikatan Nasional (PN) said they will not support any move to amend the constitution in order to create a position for a third deputy speaker.

In a statement, PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the role of two deputy Speakers as provided for in Article 57(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution is enough to ensure the smooth running of Dewan Rakyat meetings.

“The provisions of Article 57(3) which allow any member of the Dewan Rakyat to chair meetings in the absence of the Speaker and deputy Speakers are also enough for this purpose.

“So there is no need to amend the constitution to add on the role of another deputy speaker at this time,” he said, adding that the proposal to amend the constitution for this reason would require the support of two thirds of the MPs.

The now suspended motion was made after Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had resigned as the Dewan Rakyat deputy Speaker on August 23.

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