PETALING JAYA: Up to 14 new senators can be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to fill the vacancies in the Dewan Negara in the event of the appointment of a new prime minister.
Dewan Negara president Tan Sri S. A. Vigneswaran said there are currently 16 vacancies in the 70-member Senate.
Twenty-six members were elected by the respective State Legis-lative Assemblies to represent the 13 states, with two from each state, while 44 members were appointed by the King on the advice of the prime minister.
According to the Parliament website, the appointments by the King on the advice of the prime minister involve 14 vacancies, while two more vacancies are for Melaka and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.
The tenure of a senator is a three-year term for a maximum of two terms, applicable to both federal and state appointments.
“So, whoever the next prime minister is can fill up a total of 14 vacancies, ” Vigneswaran said yesterday.
He also revealed that the allocation for the states are almost full.
The three-year terms of 18 senators will expire between March and December this year.
Vigneswaran’s term expires on June 22.
His deputy Datuk Seri Abdul Halim Abdul Samad will serve his last day on Nov 2.
To be eligible as a member of the Senate, the person must be a Malaysian, at least 21 years old and of sound mind, and not an undischarged bankrupt.
Before taking his or her seat in the Senate, every member must take the prescribed oath before the Senate president.
Senators are drawn from the ranks of persons who have rendered distinguished public service or have achieved distinction in their professions, be it commerce, industry, agriculture, arts and culture, social service, or those who represent racial minorities, the disabled or the Orang Asli.
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