Yeoh is Malaysia’s youngest and first female state Speaker

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 22 Jun 2013

Making history: Yeoh donning the robe during the swearing-in ceremony.

Making history: Yeoh donning the robe during the swearing-in ceremony.

SHAH ALAM: Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh was sworn in as the Speaker of the Selangor Legislative Assembly, the first woman to hold such a post in any legislative house in the country.

At 34, she is also the youngest.

Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is three years younger, was named her deputy.

The two were installed at the start of the assembly sitting, which was followed by oath-taking of the rest of the 56-member legislative house representatives yesterday.

On the other side of the divide, the Barisan Nasional picked Sungai Burong assemblyman Datuk Shamsudin Lias as the Opposition Leader.

At a press conference after the swearing-in, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim caused a minor scare when he appeared to momentarily black out. It is learned that he suffered from low sugar levels and his staff went to get him some sweets.

Khalid appeared to be sluggish and in a daze, and his speech lagged as he offered his congratulatory message to Yeoh and Nik Nazmi.

His press secretary Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz cut short the press conference while the mentri besar was ushered into a room to rest.

Meanwhile, Yeoh said she will seek to make the state assembly independent from the state government by pushing for the Selangor Legislative Assembly Service Commission Enactment (Selesa) 2009.

Her predecessor, Datuk Teng Chang Khim had said that the previous assembly was not able to pass the enactment due to “some obstacles”.

The Bill will improve the separation of powers between the three arms of the state government – the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.

The Speaker will head the commission, which will also include the mentri besar, state opposition leader and five or six state lawmakers.

“I don’t foresee any obstacles in getting the Bill passed. It will empower the assemblymen, so I don’t see why they will object to it,” Yeoh said.