From court to EC, and now to Parliament

Newly appointed speaker of Dewan Rakyat Datuk Azhar Harun. - AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

The new Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (pic), holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Universiti Malaya and a Master of Laws from King’s College, University of London.

The former Election Commission (EC) chairman, better known as Art Harun, was born on Oct 26,1962 in Kedah.

He had launched his legal career in 1987 at Allen & Gledhill.

He also served at several leading legal firms, including Messrs Khaw & Hussain, Messrs TH Su & Partners, Messrs Lamin & Co, Messrs Hisham Sobri & Kadir, Messrs Shafee & Co and Messrs KH Koh, Azhar & Koh.

On Sept 9 last year, he was conferred the Darjah Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN) which carries the title of “Datuk” by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in conjunction with His Majesty’s official birthday.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tabled two separate motions to appoint Azhar and Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said to replace Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof and his deputy Nga Kor Ming as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively, at the Parliament sitting yesterday.

Azhar, who was appointed EC chairman on Sept 21,2018 to replace Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah, tendered his resignation from the commission on June 29.

During his tenure at the EC, Azhar had implemented a number of reforms in the country’s electoral system, including online voter registration which began this year.

Other reforms included introducing the voter’s card, providing facilities for the disabled and elderly voters as well as live-streaming the vote counting process on Facebook.

Most recent was his involvement before the Chini state seat by-election in Pahang on July 4, which was held under the new normal

and strict standard operating procedure following the Covid-19 outbreak.

His deputy Dr Azmi Sharom will carry out duties as the EC chairman until a new chief is appointed. — Bernama

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