KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — A retired judge is slated to assume the role of Dewan Rakyat Speaker, according to a source close to the Cabinet and privy to the arrangements, who wished to remain anonymous to not pre-empt the swearing-in this Monday.
The source told Malay Mail that Pakatan Harapan (PH) had initially decided on Datuk Johari Abdul as the Speaker candidate, but decided against it later, as the Sungai Petani MP is also the state assemblyman for Gurun, Kedah, and would be required to vacate the state seat.
“Basically there was already one in mind but he has to vacate the state seat. So that will create a kind of confusion,” the source said, referring to Johari.
“It will be a retired judge,” the source said, when asked about the final Speaker candidate, stopping short of revealing the candidate’s identity.
Retired Court of Appeal judge, Datuk, had already told New Straits Times yesterday that he was expecting his appointment letter as the Dewan Rakyat Speaker.
But as of today, no name has been announced by Putrajaya yet, leaving critics such as former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa alleging the invalidity of the Speaker.
Mohamad Ariff was among the two judges expected to be appointed to the post. The other was another former Court of Appeal judge, Datuk Seri Mohd Hishamudin Yunus.
This comes even as Pakatan Harapan chief secretary Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah was previously quoted as saying that the post would go to an MP.
Earlier today, de facto law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong explained that the Parliament Secretariat had received a name for the Speaker from Putrajaya on July 2, and this is in compliance with the 14 days’ requirement under Standing Order 4(1).
The minister in charge of Parliament said detractors who claimed so had an ulterior motive.