KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim will not renew his tenure as Dewan Negara president after his term expires on June 15.
“I chose no extension. A new senate president will be appointed by members of the Dewan Negara a few days after June 15,” Rais told The Star.
Sources said former foreign affairs minister Tan Sri Anifah Aman would be proposed as a candidate.
They added that this move would strengthen the support of Sabahans and Sarawakians for the federal unity government.
“As of this week, Anifah looks set to be the sole candidate proposed as the Dewan Negara president,” said one source.
The source also said Anifah was suitable for the post, given his vast government and political experience.
Presently, Anifah is the Special Advisor to the Chief Minister of Sabah on International Relations and Foreign Investments and the chairman of Invest Sabah Bhd.
He has served in several deputy minister portfolios, but his most prominent position was Foreign Affairs Minister from April 2009 to May 2018.
If there is only one proposed candidate for the Dewan Negara president post, he or she might be elected unopposed by senators.
However, if more than one candidate’s name is submitted, a secret ballot will be held among senators, as per Rule of Meeting 2(3).
It is understood that Perikatan Nasional may nominate a candidate for the post next week.
“Later next week, there may be some news,” said Bersatu information chief Datuk Razali Idris briefly when asked about the matter.
Other Perikatan sources were also tight-lipped.
“There could be a surprise,” said one source.
In September 2020, Rais was appointed the 18th Dewan Negara president, replacing Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran, whose term of office ended on June 22 that year.
Rais was elected through a secret ballot against two other candidates, namely then-members Senator Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff and Senator Theodore Douglas Lind.