KUALA LUMPUR: The election of the Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker to replace Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was postponed to avoid a "walkover" by the government, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He said this on Monday (Oct 3) after the election to fill the vacancy was postponed for the fifth time since Azalina vacated the post on Aug 23 last year.
"There was no nomination from Pakatan Harapan.
"Based on a previous understanding, we (the government) also retracted our nomination to avoid a walkover.
"We did not want to take advantage," he told a press conference in Parliament's media centre.
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) said he noticed that Pakatan failed to submit the name of a candidate within 14 days of the Dewan Rakyat sitting.
"There was only one name and it was from the government.
"I then called up (Opposition leader) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was in India at the time to inform him that there was no nomination from Pakatan," he said.
The motion to postpone the election was brought up for the first time by Wan Junaidi on Sept 14 last year and again on Oct 25, followed by motions for the same purpose by his deputy Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin on March 1 and July 18 this year.
Although she resigned from the post, Azalina continued to serve as interim Deputy Speaker on several occasions.
Datuk Ramli Mohd Nor (BN-Cameron Highlands) also filled the role on several occasions.
The Opposition had previously nominated Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming, who was deputy speaker during Pakatan's administration in 2018.