KUANTAN: Mentakab assemblyman Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji has been selected as the Opposition leader for the Pahang state assembly.
Sources said the decision to appoint Tengku Zulpuri who is the Pahang DAP deputy chairman was consented to by other state Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
In the recent 13th general election, DAP won the most opposition seats with seven, followed by PAS (three) and PKR (two).
Barisan Nasional, led by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, retained its two-thirds majority in the state, winning 30 out of the 42 state seats.
Pahang DAP secretary Choong Siew Onn, when contacted, confirmed that it was a decision by the central leadership to appoint Tengku Zulpuri, instead of Pahang DAP chairman Leong Ngah Ngah.
He said the decision had been made known to other state Pakatan leaders who had no objection.
"All Opposition assemblymen will be attending the swearing-in ceremony tomorrow.
"We are prepared to raise questions and debate pressing issues with Barisan representatives in a civil and constructive manner," he said.
It is learnt a pre-council meeting was held at Yayasan Pahang building late Sunday to brief all Barisan assemblymen to be prepared for some sparks during the new sitting.
Meanwhile, sources said Adnan will be appointing a new speaker to replace Datuk Seri Wan Mohamad Razali Wan Mahussin.
"There are several names and it will be a surprise. There is also a possibility of appointing a deputy speaker although there was none before this," said the source.
The source said a deputy speaker was necessary in view of more Opposition assemblymen this time.
Among the names being touted as possible replacements were Sungai Lembing assemblyman Datuk Md Sohaimi Mohamed Shah, Pulau Tawar assemblyman Datuk Dr Ahmad Shukri Ismail, Jenderak assemblyman Datuk Mohamed Jaafar and former Bebar assemblyman Datuk Ishak Muhammad.
There is also a possibility to appoint one of two MCA assemblymen as the deputy speaker namely Datuk Lau Lee (Damak) and Datuk Fong Koong Fuee (Cheka).
Back in 2004, Leong was the sole Opposition member while in 2008, four others joined him in the Opposition bench.
Subsequently, one of them, who was an independent, applied to join Gerakan.
A dinner for all assemblymen with Sultan Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah is scheduled for Tuesday.
The new sitting will take place for one week until July 8.