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Ex-rep named Selangor speaker as PH, Umno assemblymen meet DAP's demand

Lau Weng San was named by DAP prior to the state polls in return for the party making way for Umno in a seat.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Former Banting assemblyman Lau Weng San has been named as the state speaker for Selangor.
Former Banting assemblyman Lau Weng San has been named as the state speaker for Selangor.

The former assemblyman for Banting has been named as the Selangor state speaker after receiving the support of Pakatan Harapan and Umno represesentatives, fulfilling a demand made by DAP before last month's state election.

Lau Weng San got 34 votes against Perikatan Nasional's nominee, Mohd Fuad Mohd Salleh, who received 22, reflecting the composition of the 56-member state assembly where PH and Umno joined hands to form the government following the Aug 12 state polls.

Meanwhile, PKR's Kamri Kamaruddin was elected as deputy speaker.

DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke had demanded that the speaker's post be given to a candidate from the party as a form of compensation for agreeing to make way for Umno in Dusun Tua.

"The prime minister has agreed to the conditions," Loke said before the polls.

The current Selangor assembly has the biggest opposition bloc in history, entirely comprised of Malay representatives in an indication of the deficit in Malay support for the PH-Barisan Nasional (BN) alliance formed after the last general election.

Of the 34 assemblyman from the ruling bloc, only 16 are Malays, including two from Umno.

Analysts had warned of a perception that non-Malays are calling the shots in the state government, an argument that PH and BN leaders had sought to counter since the last general election which saw the two coalitions losing Malay support nationwide.

It was also largely seen as the reason Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari had ensured that his exco members were dominated by Malay assemblymen.

Senior fellow at the National Council of Professors, Jeniri Amir, said any further posts of importance for DAP would cement the perception that the party was dominant in the state administration, adding that this could lead to the defeat of PH at the next general election. 

"It will certainly alienate the Malays, because one of the reasons they rejected PH at the last general election was DAP's presence in the coalition," he told MalaysiaNow last month.

Loke, the transport minister, had also announced another Selangor DAP man, Ean Yong Hian Wah, for the position of chairman of the Klang Port Authority, the country's biggest port parked under his ministry.

Analyst Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said DAP's demand was reasonable given the number of seats it holds. 

But he said the move would reinforce the perception that PKR and its president, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, are being steered by DAP. 

"Without DAP, PKR would be dead in the water," he had told MalaysiaNow. 

Another observer Ahmad Atory Hussain agreed. 

"The 15 seats won by DAP are seen as the strongest and most stable. This is why it can make such calls."