Speaker Azhar Harun today said that his change of mind on allowing Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming to chair the Dewan Rakyat session in his absence yesterday was his own decision, denying any pressure by external parties.
He said he had given Nga a letter asking him to replace him in line with his authority under Standing Order 7(3).
“I did give the letter to Teluk Intan because he was ready,” he said. “I changed my mind at the last minute.
“Yesterday’s session was valid because I returned to chair the meeting. I was not pressured by anyone to change my mind,” he said in reply to Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Puchong).
Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily had reported that a “senior minister” had called Azhar telling him not to allow Nga as his replacement.
Following this, several several opposition MPs in the Dewan Rakyat today questioned if the senior minister was Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Nga had been scheduled to chair the afternoon session of Parliament yesterday but Azhar resumed his duties as speaker after the break.
Last Wednesday, Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said, a former deputy speaker herself, was asked to temporarily chair the Dewan Rakyat sitting in Azhar’s absence.