PETALING JAYA: Political sources have confirmed that the position of Dewan Rakyat Speaker is a toss-up between former minister Rais Yatim of PPBM and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh of DAP.
A decision is expected to be made soon. The new Parliament will be opened on July 17, and the Speaker must be elected the day before with all MPs taking their oaths of office before the Speaker.
The Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat is head of the legislature and ranks in precedence with the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice.
Rais recently joined PPBM after quitting Umno last month.
He has had a long career in state and federal government, serving as Negeri Sembilan menteri besar between 1978 and 1982, and has held the rural development, information and foreign affairs portfolios in the Cabinet.
Rais and Yeoh both have law degrees, Rais from the University of Singapore and a doctorate in law in 1994 from King’s College, London. Yeoh obtained her degree from the University of Tasmania.
Yeoh was elected to the Selangor state assembly in 2008 from Subang Jaya. She was re-elected five years later and appointed the Selangor state assembly speaker, the first Malaysian woman to head a legislature, and the youngest at the age of 34.