MINISTER in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili’s absence on the first day of the highly-anticipated Parliament session is not due to a stroke as speculated by many people.
According to Ongkili’s press secretary Sandra Sokial, the Kota Marudu MP is on medical leave as he was advised by doctors to take a rest due to extreme exhaustion.
“He wanted to go to Parliament, but the doctors told him to rest instead, ” said Sandra.
Talk is rife that Ongkili had suffered a stroke and was expected to be absent from yesterday’s Parliament sitting.
Earlier, two MPs – Ongkili and Batu Pahat MP Datuk Seri Rashid Hasnon – did not cast their votes in the motion to replace the Speaker, which was approved by a majority of just two votes.
The new Speaker, Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, was voted in by 111 MPs against 109 others who objected. Rashid said he abstained from voting for the new Speaker as he was acting in his capacity as the deputy Speaker.
Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof and Nga Kor Ming resigned as the Speaker and deputy Speaker yesterday.