Newly-minted Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun insists he will not act “controversially” as he intends to follow the Parliament standing orders.
“People say that when I was appointed as the Election Committee (EC) it also became a controversy, but I did not act controversially (then) and I won’t act controversially here.
“We have the standing orders and I intend to follow it,” Azhar says in a press conference at the Parliament after today’s proceedings ended.
He denies he was instructed to accept the position as the Dewan Rakyat speaker.
“I was accepted by the government to become the speaker and I agreed.
“I think it is an honour for me and my family. It is a challenge and it’s a way for me to serve the nation,” says Azhar (photo).
After his first day today, he says he does not regret accepting the offer as it is a “good experience”.
When asked about the remarks made against Kasthuriraani Patto (PH-Batu Kawan) earlier, he says everyone is against sexist remarks but that particular remark is open to interpretation.
“At the time, those who made it apologised and withdrew the remark, but I hope in the future, there will be no sexist remarks again in the Dewan,” he says.
Meanwhile, the newly-appointed Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said (below), who is the first woman to hold that position in Malaysia, says this is a good approach for the country.
“Maybe there will come a time when the speaker of both Houses will be women.
“There shouldn’t be an issue of gender in appointing a speaker,” says Azalina.