‘Deputy Speaker election delayed to allow amendments’


PETALING JAYA: The postponement of the election of a new Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker is not caused by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia opposing Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan’s candidacy, says Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

The Bersatu Srikandi vice-chief said the election had to be postponed because the government wanted to increase the said position from two to three.

She said that in order to increase the number of positions, an amendment to Article 57 (1) (b) of the Federal Constitution was necessary.

“Instead of having two deputy speakers, we want to increase it to three. That’s all.

“So now, we have to postpone it so that we can amend the Constitution,” she told The Star yesterday.

Mas Ermieyati, who is Masjid Tanah MP, said the postponement was not caused by Bersatu opposing Ahmad, who is Umno secretary-general, as reported by Sinar Harian on Wednesday.

“There’s no issue regarding Ahmad,” she said.

The report stated that Bersatu MPs were expected to declare a neutral stance over the proposal to name Ahmad as the government’s sole candidate for the post.

Quoting several unnamed Bersatu MPs, it said there was opposition towards the Pontian MP’s candidacy due to his ongoing court cases.

Several Bersatu MPs, when contacted, refused to comment on the Sinar Harian report with an MP saying that it should be referred to Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

One of the two Deputy Speaker posts fell vacant after Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said resigned on Aug 23.

It was supposed to be filled on Tuesday as it was listed as the first order of business on Parliament Order Papers.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Parliament and Law Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar tabled a motion to suspend the appointment to allow amendments to the Federal Constitution to increase the position from two to three.

Besides Ahmad, Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming is also named as DAP’s candidate for the post.

However, sources said Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh could also be in the contest.

“These are the three candidates,” said the source.

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