KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 ― Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun today clarified that he had changed his mind on appointing Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming as the temporary Deputy Speaker, and was not coerced to do so.
During the debate session, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo had interjected citing the Standing Orders and again asked why Nga was not appointed to the role yesterday despite an official letter on the matter.
He also asked if the sitting was valid as Nga did not chair it at the stipulated time from 2.30pm till 4pm.
He also pointed to Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong's question in the morning during the Question and Answer (Q&A) session, in which the latter asked if a senior minister had intervened to have Nga's appointment reversed.
Azhar then confirmed that he had asked Nga to temporarily assume the role of Deputy Speaker, as was his prerogative under the Standing Orders.
“Therefore, yes, I did indeed give a letter to Teluk Intan and I want to thank him for readily accepting my request. I changed my mind at the last minute and for your first question, the proceeding is valid as I returned to chair the meeting.
“On your second question, I truly was not coerced or pressured by anyone to change my mind. I merely used my discretion to change my mind. Thank you,” he said.
Azhar also said he did not receive any telephone calls about the matter, after Gobind sought further clarification.
He then ordered the lawmakers to return to the debate of the Yang di-Pertuan's address.
Earlier today, the Dewan Rakyat descended into chaos today as Opposition MPs demanded that the Deputy Speaker and Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali explain if the latter had blocked a Nga's appointment as temporary Deputy Speaker to preside over the afternoon session yesterday.
Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon was presiding over the Question and Answer (Q&A) today when Khoo interjected and demanded that he clarify if a senior minister had blocked Nga's appointment for the role.
Rashid headed off the ensuing argument, however, and directed lawmakers back to the agenda.
Malay Mail was informed that Nga was asked by Azhar to preside over yesterday’s meeting between 2.30pm and 4pm, and that a senior minister allegedly objected to it.