KUALA LUMPUR: It's confirmed: it will be a straight fight for the Dewan Rakyat Speaker's post come Nov 22 when Parliament resumes.
The Barisan Nasional has nominated MP for Pasir Salak Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib, who was proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, while the DAP has submitted the name of Kepong MP, Dr Tan Seng Giaw.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the names were received within the timeframe of 14 days prior to the election of the Speaker as required under Parliament's Standing Order.
The election will most probably be done by a show of hands, he said.
The Speaker's position fell vacant following the death of Tun Dr Mohamed Zahir Ismail, who held the post for 22 years, on Oct 14.
Nazri said the Barisan was positive that its candidate would emerge as the Speaker.
We are confident, no problem, he told reporters at the open house held jointly by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet members at the Putra World Trade Centre on Sunday.
The Barisan controls some 90% of the seats in Parliament with 219 members.
Nazri said the election of the Speaker would be the first on the agenda when Parliament reconvenes.
He said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would move the motion on the election of the Speaker the while Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting would second it.
On why Ramli was the chosen one, Nazri said: He is a senior politician, he was a Mentri Besar (Perak) for almost 17 years.
He is a lawyer, and that is essential. He is well qualified and has the stature as a Speaker.
Ramli is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee while Dr Tan is the deputy chairman.
Ramli was appointed deputy transport minister in 1999, a position he held till the March general election this year.
Dr Tan, a dermatologist, is also DAP vice-chairman.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said opposition MPs would seek a meeting with Ramli to hear his vision, commitment and passion on parliamentary reforms and modernisation to transform the Malaysian Parliament into a first-world Parliament.
All MPs, whether Barisan Nasional or opposition, should demonstrate that they had first-world Parliament mentality by voting for the best person and candidate for Parliament Speaker, regardless of party affiliation, Lim said in a statement.
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