IPOH: April 21, 2008
Contests for the posts of speaker and deputy speaker are expected when the Perak State Assembly sits this Friday.
Both the Pakatan Rakyat coalition government made up of the DAP, PKR and PAS, and the Barisan Nasional opposition have submitted names for the two posts.
The coalition government is nominating Tronoh assemblyman V. Sivakumar for the speaker’s post and two-term Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong as its candidate for deputy speaker.
The Barisan has meanwhile nominated former state assembly speaker Datuk Seri Junus Wahid as candidate for speaker and MCA’s sole assemblyman in the state, Dr Mah Hang Soon, 43, of Chenderiang, for the deputy speaker’s post.
The assembly sitting on Friday will also see the swearing-in of the newly-elected assemblymen after the speaker and his deputy are picked.
In the just-concluded general election, Pakatan Rakyat controls 31 state seats while the Barisan has 28 under its belt.
Perak DAP chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had proposed Sivakumar, 38, and Hee, 45,
Ngeh said Sivakumar, who holds a law degree and has a Master's in Business Administration, was very capable.
The move to propose Sivakumar was also to fulfil the promise of giving more representation to the Indian community who had supported the new government, he said yesterday.
“We want to create history by having the first Indian speaker in the country,” Ngeh added.
On the nomination of Hee, he said it showed the new state government’s concern for women and the disabled.
“Hee will be the first woman to be a deputy speaker in the Perak assembly,” he said. She walks with a limp after becoming a polio victim when she was four.