KUCHING, May 27 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said that several names have been received for the appointment of the Dewan Negara president as a replacement for incumbent Datuk Mutang Tagal who died early this month.

However, he declined to reveal the names of the potential candidates, saying that the matter is still being discussed.

“Many names have been received,” he told reporters after meeting Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg and other state leaders at a hotel here.

Earlier, Anwar officiated the closing of the National Journalists Day.

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Recently, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi had expressed high hopes that the vacant position of the Dewan Negara president would be filled by another Sarawakian.

He had said as a Sarawakian from GPS, it was his opinion that a replacement should also come from the state.

Mutang, a 70-year-old Dayak, held the post for less than a year after Tun Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar stepped down following his appointment as the Sarawak governor.

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Mutang died on May 10 this year due to heart complications at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur.

He took his oath of office as the Dewan Negara president on February 19 this year.