KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun says that he was not pressured by anyone to stop Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming from chairing Monday's sitting.
"I sent the letter to Teluk Intan asking him to chair the sitting and I would like to thank him as he was prepared to take my request into consideration.
"However, I changed my mind at the last minute.
"On the second question, I was not pressured by anyone to change my mind. I did so on my own will," he said in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Sept 21).
Earlier, Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Puchong) said that he was informed through a letter that the Speaker had invited Nga, who is a former deputy speaker, to temporarily chair the sitting between 2.30pm and 4pm on Monday under Standing Order 7 (3).
Under Parliament's Standing Order 7(3), the Dewan Rakyat Speaker may at any time ask a member to take the chair temporarily, without formal communication to the House.
Gobind also asked whether any Senior Minister had intervened to block Nga from chairing the sitting.
Azhar replied that he had changed his mind on asking Nga to chair the sitting.
"Please sit down, I have made my decision," he told Gobind and several other Opposition MPs before ordering the debate on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address to proceed.
Earlier, during Question Time, Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) challenged Azmin to confirm if he was the one who was responsible for the Speaker's decision to rescind his invitation to Nga to chair the sitting.
On Monday, a report by Sin Chew Daily claimed that one of the four senior ministers had prevented Nga from temporarily chairing the sitting. The report did not name the minister.
Last week, former deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was invited to temporarily chair the proceedings in the Dewan Rakyat after the lunch break.