PETALING JAYA: Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan has been nominated by the government as the Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker.
The nomination of the Umno secretary-general for the post was confirmed by Umno’s Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
“Yes, confirmed,” he was reported to have told an online portal on Wednesday (Sept 8).
The nomination comes after the post fell vacant following the resignation of Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said on Aug 23.
Azalina had cited several reasons for her resignation including conflict of roles and responsibilities between being an Umno supreme council member and MP in a ruling coalition.
She was among several Umno lawmakers who had withdrawn support for former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's leadership last month resulting in the collapse of his administration.
She had also suggested that the vacant post could be filled by an Opposition candidate.
Nazri, however, dismissed such a suggestion.
“The Deputy Speaker position still needs to be filled by a candidate from the government and we will not make way for the Opposition to fill it,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.
He claimed that the Opposition was vying for DAP’s Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming to fill the vacancy.
Nga has previously held the post during administration under Pakatan Harapan and resigned the post following the removal of former Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof in July 2020.
Nazri said the Opposition should not demand the post as they had not made a similar offer when they were in power.
“The Opposition doesn’t need to talk much about being more open by accepting their candidate as the Deputy Speaker.
“When (Pakatan) Harapan was the government, they did not give much space to us as the Opposition,” he was quoted as saying.
Ahmad is presently standing trial for money laundering and giving a false statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) with regard to more than RM2mil he received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2013.