KUALA LUMPUR: Former Perak mentri besar Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib has been elected the seventh Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat.
Ramli, a lawyer and two-term Pasir Salak MP, was elected via balloting at the august House yesterday.
He obtained 185 votes while his “contender”, DAP's Dr Tan Seng Giaw received 10 votes.
Ramli replaced Tun Dr Mohamed Zahir Ismail who died on Oct 14, after being the Speaker for 22 years.
The 63-year-old Ramli, who took up the post at 10.35am, was helped into the Speaker robe and songkok by Dewan Rakyat secretary Datuk Abdullah Abdul Wahab and took his oath of office before the MPs.
At the start of the proceedings, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tabled the motion to elect the Speaker and Ramli's candidacy from the Barisan Nasional.
The motion was seconded by Housing and Local Government Minister and MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang then proposed Dr Tan, who is DAP deputy chairman and six-term Kepong MP, as the Opposition's choice for the post, seconded by Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran.
Abdullah conducted the election, which lasted some 20 minutes.
Later, the new Speaker thanked the MPs for electing him and the Prime Minister for nominating him.
“I'm very fortunate for this opportunity to be with fellow parliamentarians and to realise our country’s parliamentary democracy instituted way back in 1955,” he said.
At a press conference later, Ramli, who said this was the “highest honour bestowed” upon him, pledged to serve all parliamentarians to strengthen the process of democracy in Malaysia.
The new Speaker, who will remain as the Pasir Salak MP, will resign from his post as Public Accounts Committee chairman.
On his vision or plans after being elected as Speaker, Ramli said he would reveal it “in time”, adding it was premature for him to reveal it early as it would be “half-baked”.
At the Parliament lobby, Dr Tan, who congratulated Ramli, said: “I hope that he (Ramli) will carry out his duties impartially.”
Najib said Ramli was capable of carrying out his duties as Speaker due to his vast experience.
“I believe he will deliver efficiently because of his vast experiences at state and federal administration and his legal qualifications,” he said.
Ong said the 185 votes indicated a convincing mandate for Ramli.
“I am confident he can do a good job because of his experience as Perak Mentri Besar for four terms and his professional background.”
Works Minister and MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu also praised Ramli, saying: “He is a very experienced politician and I congratulate him on his election to a position of high esteem.”
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