KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government would propose amendments to the Federal Constitution in order to create a third deputy speaker post, said de facto law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar on Tuesday (Sep 14).
The role will be held by the opposition, he added.
Speaking in parliament as he outlined why the government was seeking to postpone the election for a new deputy speaker, he said: “We want to bring a constitutional amendment to this house, to amend Article 57(1)(b) for us to increase the number of deputy speakers from two to three.”
He said the Constitution did not state who would hold the deputy speaker posts, as the individuals were elected by Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Lower House.
“So we will make a rule maybe, that one of the three deputy speakers, once it is approved, will be held by the opposition, no matter who forms the government,” Mr Wan Junaidi said.
He added that he had discussed the matter with the Attorney-General. He said that the proposed amendment could have its first reading by the end of the current session and later be passed during the following parliamentary session in October.
The speaker agreed to postpone the election of the deputy speaker, without any need for debate.
Mr Wan Junaidi was responding to a question by Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin on why the election had been postponed.
The Parti Keadilan Rakyat MP said as parliament would be meeting throughout September and until December, the workload would be very heavy with just Speaker of the House Azhar Azizan Harun and Deputy Speaker I Mohd Rashid Hasnon. Under the current Constitution, there is one speaker and two deputies.
“There were many motions to debate, including the Royal Address, as well as the upcoming Budget 2022 and various special parliamentary committees,” Mr Sim noted.
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