Rais Yatim: New Dewan Rakyat Speaker should not be a minister or senator

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The new Speaker for the lower House of Representatives should not come from anyone holding a post in either the Cabinet or the Senate, Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Rais Yatim said.

Rais said that any senator appointed Dewan Rakyat Speaker must resign from the upper House of Representatives first, Utusan Malaysia reported today.

“If there is any senator who wants to become Speaker, he must resign first so that he can be appointed as Speaker,” the Dewan Negara Speaker was quoted as saying.

He added that Speaker appointees also cannot have any pending criminal case, or been sentenced to prison, or be a bankrupt, or of unsound mind.

The first sitting of the 15th Dewan Rakyat is scheduled for December 19 and its first agenda will be the appointment of its Speaker, currently held by Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun.

Azhar was previously reported to have said that he would officially step down from the position on December 18. He had also said that there would have to be an election for the Speaker if there was more than one nominee.

Yesterday, news portal Malaysiakini reported PKR’s former Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul and Barisan Nasional’s Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Md Nor to be among the candidates.

Conventionally, Dewan Rakyat Speakers are appointed from among members of the House but there have been exceptions. Speculation is also rife that former Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and former Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof were possible candidates.

Wan Junaidi was previously the de facto law minister and was also in charge of parliamentary affairs.

Ariff, who served as the ninth Dewan Rakyat Speaker from July 2018 to July 2020, was formerly a judge but had never been an elected representative.

The Perikatan Nasional Opposition coalition has expressed its intention to submit its own candidate but has not publicly named anyone so far.