KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan today has withdrawn his candidacy for the post of Dewan Rakyat deputy Speaker.
In a press conference, he said that he made his decision after discussing the matter with Umno leadership, adding that he wanted to focus on his role as Umno secretary-general.
“I have made the decision to withdraw my candidacy as Dewan Rakyat deputy Speaker. The reason behind this decision is so that I can focus my efforts as the Umno secretary-general, which takes up a lot of time, especially in the complicated political times we are currently in.
“I met Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi [Tuanku Jaafar] this morning to inform him of my decision, as well as Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun,” he said.
Ahmad said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will announce the next candidate for Dewan Rakyat deputy Speaker within the next two days.
“He needs to do this because he must meet the 14-day condition set before the next parliamentary sitting on October 25,” he said.
He added that as Umno is the largest party in Malaysia, with the largest number of members, if he were to take the post of deputy Speaker, it would eat into his responsibilities as secretary-general of the party.
“Imagine if I have to sit in Dewan Rakyat from morning until evening, while there is a lot of work to be done for the party.
“For example, I had to attend so many meetings yesterday: 2pm I had an appointment, then at 4pm, and 6pm, and even 8pm. I cannot be in two places at once,” he said.
On September 8, Ahmad was nominated by the government as the Dewan Rakyat deputy Speaker.
The nomination came after the post fell vacant following the resignation of Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said on August 23.
Azalina had cited several reasons for her resignation including conflict of roles and responsibilities between being an Umno supreme council member and an MP in the ruling coalition.
She was among several Umno lawmakers who had withdrawn support for former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s leadership last month resulting in the collapse of his administration.
She had also suggested that the vacant post could be filled by an Opposition candidate.