Malaysiakini News

'Dewan veteran Kit Siang has experience, expertise to be speaker'

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A DAP Youth leader has thrown support behind party veteran and parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang to be made the Dewan Rakyat speaker.

In a statement today, DAP Youth assistant publicity director Muhammad Shakir Ameer said Lim was most suited for the role due to his commitment to democracy as demonstrated throughout his almost half a century of experience as a lawmaker.

“Lim has upheld democracy and the rights of all Malaysians ever since he was elected as (Bandar Melaka) MP in 1969.

"His track record in defending the Federal Constitution and highlighting issues of the people is also unrivalled.

“[...] We believe that with his experience as an opposition and now a government MP, he will be fair and just to all, and ensure that our system of parliamentary democracy will be preserved for the good of all citizens,” he said.

Experience aside, Muhammad said Lim’s law background meant the latter had expertise in Parliament's standing orders and the country’s laws.

He further described the Iskandar Puteri MP as someone who possessed good work ethics, often emphasising the importance of integrity and public service.

Avoiding more attacks

Lim was previously reported to be in the running for the position.

However, Harapan sources have since told Malaysiakini that coalition leaders are not keen on having to deal with another round of racially-charged attacks as it did with the appointment of Tommy Thomas as the attorney-general.

Lim himself previously said he would be a backbencher for the first time in his lawmaking career in the upcoming Parliamentary session, which convenes on Mon (Jul 16).

Another proposal for the position, PKR’s Johari Abdul, hit a brick wall after legal experts pointed out that he would have to resign from being Gurun assemblyperson as per the Federal Constitution in order to take up the post.

This would in turn risk collapsing the Kedah government, where Harapan holds just 18 state assembly seats against Umno and PAS’ combined 18.

Former Court of Appeal judge Mohamad Ariff Yusof is now the apparent frontrunner as speaker.

This would however break Harapan’s 14th general election manifesto promise that the Dewan Rakyat speaker would be an MP.

According to the parliamentary standing order, the nominees for Dewan Rakyat speaker must be submitted to Parliament within 14 days from the sitting, a deadline Harapan has missed.

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