KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — Pontian MP and Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan has reportedly been nominated by the government as its sole candidate for the deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker position.
Malaysiakini reported Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz confirming the matter.
“Yes, confirmed,” he reportedly replied.
Ahmad is currently facing charges of money laundering for failing to declare RM2 million received from Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and giving false statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
On August 23, Umno’s Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had resigned from the post as deputy to Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun.
Azalina had previously earned accolades from political rivals as a knowledgeable and fair lawmaker willing to consult the Opposition for their views in Parliament and moving forward the agenda on institutional reform.
Among them was DAP’s Hannah Yeoh who had proposed Azalina for three ministerial posts prior to the Cabinet announcement and expressed disappointment that the Umno woman was excluded.
Azalina had even proposed that an Opposition candidate succeed her instead.
However, Sinar Harian had quoted Nazri stating such a move is not viable as the position must be filled by a representative of the government.
“The deputy speaker position still needs to be filled with a government candidate and we will not make way for the Opposition to fill it,” he said.
Nazri then claimed that the Opposition had looked to nominate DAP’s Nga Kor Ming to the position he had held before again.
He also chided Pakatan Harapan for seeking the position, saying no such opportunity was given to Umno when the latter was in the opposition.