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Minister contradicts DPM, claims speaker name submitted on July 2
Published:  Jul 14, 2018 1:04 PM
Updated: 1:27 PM

Pakatan Harapan submitted its candidate for speaker on July 2, claims de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong.

This contradicts various reports on the matter and even remarks by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

In a statement today, Liew said the speaker candidate was submitted on July 2 in compliance with standing orders which require a name submitted 14 days before Parliament convenes for the first time.

“Certain quarters have made unfounded allegations on this 14 days’ requirement with an ulterior motive to mislead the public.

"There’s no such non-compliance with the legal requirement as alleged,” Liew, who is also the minister in charge of Parliament, said.

This, however, contradicts Wan Azizah, who on July 8 said her party PKR had only met that day to discuss who should be speaker, and that a high-level Harapan meeting would be held soon.

Wan Azizah had also said that a name would need to be submitted "a week" before Parliament convenes, instead of two weeks as stated by the standing orders.

She later confirmed that the Harapan meeting was held on July 9, and that the coalition had decided on one name.

It was later reported that Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul was the coalition’s pick for the role of speaker.

However, Harapan later scrapped plans to name Johari, after it was pointed out that the Federal Constitution required him to give up his Gurun state seat in Kedah.

This would put the Kedah government in a precarious situation as Harapan now controls only 18 seats in the state assembly, while PAS and Umno also control 18 seats.

This shift away from Johari as speaker was confirmed by a cabinet source to Malay Mail today.

“Basically there was already one in mind but he (Johari) has to vacate the state seat. So that will create a kind of confusion,” the unnamed minister was quoted as saying.

Harapan was then reported to have picked former Court of Appeal judge Mohamad Ariff Yusof as its new choice for speaker.

Mohamad Ariff had yesterday said that he had yet to receive his letter of appointment as speaker.

Parliament convenes on Monday.

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