Teng poised to be first non-Malay Speaker with Haniza as his deputy

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor State Assembly will score two firsts tomorrow with a non-Malay Speaker and a woman Deputy Speaker.

This is if it elects DAP’s Sungai Pinang assemblyman Teng Chang Khim and PKR’s Taman Medan assemblyman Haniza Talha as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively after the swearing-in ceremony.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim announced yesterday that Pakatan Rakyat would nominate Teng and Haniza to the posts.

He said it was not his intention to make history with the nomination but the selection was based on the candidates’ potential and experience.

Talking point: Khalid flanked by Teng and Haniza after announcing that they would benominated to the posts of Selangor State Assembly Speaker and Deputy Speakerrespectively by Pakatan Rakyat at his official residence yesterday. — Bernama

“Teng has been an assemblyman for four terms and he is familiar with how the assembly operates and what is needed in the house,” he told a press conference at his official residence yesterday.

He added that Teng’s experience as the former DAP Youth Chief and now party Central Executive Committee member were also taken into account.

He said he was confident that Teng, 45, would handle his duties well and ensure debates would go on smoothly and professionally.

Khalid said Haniza, 46, was an experienced professional who was also PKR’s national Wanita wing vice-chairman and the state Wanita chief as well as a member of the non-governmental organisation Jemaah Islah.

He said he also received strong support from the women representatives within Pakatan Rakyat in nominating Haniza.

Speaking to reporters later, Teng said the nomination was not a total surprise. He said the matter had been discussed for some time and he was aware that he was among those being considered.

He dismissed talk that the post would allow him the chance to “get back” at the Barisan Nasional assemblymen for getting him suspended from the house for close to 30-months in 2005.

“The thought has never crossed my mind. We used to accuse the Barisan Speaker of not being fair and we cannot now repeat the same mistakes,” he said.