Thursday, April 10, 2008


Ronald may be made Deputy Speaker


While the search continues for the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, the Barisan Nasional (BN) has nominated two Members of Parliament, one from Sarawak and another from Sabah, for the posts of Deputy Speakers. A well-placed source said five-term MP Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (Santubong, Sarawak) and three-term MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee Beluran, Sabah) were being considered for the posts. “Both were picked as the main choices for the post of Deputy Speakers while the search for the speaker’s position continues,” the source told Bernama here yesterday. The speaker may be an MP or non-member who is qualified for election into the House. The Deputy Speaker must however, be an MP. The functions of the Speaker include maintaining order in the Dewan Rakyat, ensuring that relevancy is observed during debates and interpreting the standing Orders, in case of disputes. The Deputy Speakers assist the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and chair proceedings by rotation in the absence of the Speaker. Wan Junaidi when contacted, confirmed that he was informed unofficially on the matter and expressed his willingness to serve in the position, if given the chance. I still have to go through the process of being elected in the Dewan Rakyat first. For the moment, I don’t have anything to comment,” he said. Sources said Wan Junaidi was informed of the plans to name him as the Deputy Speaker by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during their meeting in Kuching last Friday. The same goes for Ronald who was also told informally on the matter, two days ago in Kota Kinabalu. Ronald, when contacted, confirmed that he had been informed about the matter informally, but refused to reveal more information. “I prefer to wait for the official statement if they decide to nominate me. “Informally, yes, they have told me but not officially,” he said, without elaborating. If elected, Ronald will follow the footsteps of former Kinabatangan MP Datuk Juhar Mahiruddin who was elected Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat from Dec 5, 1990 to Nov 10, 1999. Nominations for the new Speaker are expected to be known in the near future as speculations are rife that the post will be given to an elected members from Sabah or Sarawak. But there is also speculation that the post might be filled by a non-parliamentarian, particularly from the Judiciary like a former judge. It has been reported that the Prime Minister wants to reward Sabah and Sarawak BN with the above- mentioned posts due to their excellent performances in the recent general election. For the Speaker’s post, there is talk that veteran politician and former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia is the main contender after he was reported to have agreed to the post. - Bernama.