Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan should drop out of the Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker race, says Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi.
Puad said the Umno MP’s election as the new deputy speaker was unlikely to happen without the backing of Bersatu MPs.
He added that the opposition was also unlikely to back Ahmad even if a third deputy speaker position is created for them.
“It is said that the prime minister nominated Ahmad but Bersatu MPs may still refuse to support him. Last week’s vote was postponed because the vote was not solid.
“There is no guarantee that Pakatan Harapan MPs will support Ahmad Maslan even though they may get a quota for the deputy speaker’s position. Is it merely cosmetic?” he said in a statement on Facebook.
The election of the Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker was supposed to take place on Sept 14.
Ahmad was the government’s sole nominee while Harapan nominated Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming as the opposition’s candidate. Nga was formerly a Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker.
However, the vote was abruptly aborted. The government cited plans to create a third Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker position for the opposition.
However, it was later revealed that the vote was aborted amid concerns that Bersatu MPs won’t back Ahmad.
Bersatu MPs, as well as four independent MPs aligned to the party, had reportedly planned to abstain during the vote.
This would leave only 79 out of the 114 government MPs supporting Ahmad.
Harapan has 88 MPs. This number increases to 105 when other opposition MPs are included.
Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan had hinted that his party took issue with Ahmad’s ongoing money laundering trial and urged Ismail Sabri to consult them on a suitable candidate.