EC chief Azhar, ex-minister Azalina nominated speaker, deputy speaker

Azhar Azizan Harun has been named in a motion to appoint him as the new Dewan Rakyat speaker

PETALING JAYA: Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun and former minister Azalina Othman Said have been nominated in a motion to replace current Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusoff and his deputy.

The order paper listing debates and motions ahead of the Dewan Rakyat sitting on July 13 has included the motion by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to remove Ariff and his deputy Nga Kor Ming.

“The Order of Business should be out by now. Yes, these motions exist,” Ariff told FMT, adding that he has allowed the motion to be tabled.

“I go by the book.”

Ariff and Nga were appointed under the Pakatan Harapan government.

PH leaders had earlier criticised Muhyiddin’s bid to remove them from chairing Dewan Rakyat sittings.

“The speaker has proven that institutional reform efforts which started after the 14th general election have borne fruit and must be continued,” the former ruling coalition had said in a joint statement last month.

They also said that removing a speaker was unprecedented as the post was normally vacated after a general election.

Meanwhile, FMT has contacted Azhar and Azalina for their response.

Azhar was appointed to helm EC in September 2018.

In a recent interview with FMT, Azhar, popularly known as Art Harun, said he was not beholden to any political party in the wake of the political realignment which saw the change of federal government early this year.

Azhar also brushed aside calls for him to step down from EC, saying his appointment was different.

“If by political appointment you mean an appointee subscribes to a particular political inclination or is beholden to a party or political appointor, I think that’s wrong,” he told FMT last month.

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