In sudden appearance, Azalina presides as temporary Speaker for Dewan Rakyat

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Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said chairs the Dewan Rakyat sitting, September 15, 2021. She said she was appointed by Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun temporarily under the Standing Order 7(3) of the Dewan Rakyat, rather than a permanent appointment. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said chairs the Dewan Rakyat sitting, September 15, 2021. She said she was appointed by Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun temporarily under the Standing Order 7(3) of the Dewan Rakyat, rather than a permanent appointment. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Pengerang-BN) appeared today chairing the Dewan Rakyat sitting at 4.10pm, shocking multiple MPs during the debate of the motion of thanks and the royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong today.

Hassan Abdul Karim (Pasir Gudang-PH) and Sim Sze Tzin (Bayan Baru-PH) stood up asking about the surprise revelation as the motion to elect a new deputy speaker is still postponed until the next sitting.

“I am glad to see you up there, but this shows that there is a need to elect a new deputy speaker as soon as possible,” said Sim.

Azalina said she was appointed by Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun temporarily under the Standing Order 7(3) of the Dewan Rakyat, rather than a permanent appointment.

“The appointment is like ‘nikah mutaah’, only temporarily. Maybe on Monday, it’s going to be someone else,” said Azalina, referring to the rare practice of Muslim couples going through a temporary contract of marriage.

According to the Standing Order 7(3), “the Speaker may at any time during a sitting ask a member to take the Chair temporarily, without formal communication to the House, and such member shall be invested with all the powers of a Speaker, until the Speaker returns.”

Yesterday, de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the election for a new deputy speaker that was supposed to happen today has been postponed to the next Parliament sitting.

He said the postponement is necessary as the government is looking to create a third deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker position that will see it filled by an Opposition MP, but requires an amendment to the Federal Constitution.

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