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It’s back to law practice for me, says Azhar

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 10/12/2022 K. Parkaran
Azhar Harun denied ever being an ‘activist’ prior to GE14, adding that he was ‘just an individual with an opinion on certain issues’. (Bernama pic) © Provided by Free Malaysia Today Azhar Harun denied ever being an ‘activist’ prior to GE14, adding that he was ‘just an individual with an opinion on certain issues’. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun plans to return to his law practice after he steps down from his post on Dec 19 when the lower house sits for two days for the first time under the unity government.

It is understood that he turned down Perikatan Nasional (PN)’s offer to renominate him as a candidate for the Speaker’s post. According to sources, the coalition has now nominated former home minister Radzi Sheikh Ahmad for the post.

When contacted, Azhar declined to comment on rumours that he had declined PN’s offer to vie for the post as the coalition’s nominee.

However, he said he will be going back to his law practice after his stint as the Speaker officially ends.

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“I have always said if the majority does not want me, I would go quietly and that’s what I am doing. I will go back to my law practice,” he told FMT.

He left his law practice in September 2018 after he was appointed Election Commission chairman by then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad under the former Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

He then quit as EC chairman and was made Dewan Rakyat Speaker in July 2020, four months after the collapse of the PH government, following the Sheraton Move.

Asked if he would go back to “activism”, Azhar said he was never an activist nor fashioned himself as one.

“I am just an individual with an opinion on certain issues. It just so happened that sometimes people agreed with my opinions and some political parties did so too. But that did not make me an activist or aligned to those political parties.

“But I am not saying that I will not continue (to express an opinion) as I am impulsive in that respect. Things happen and I may just voice out what I think.

“These things are not planned. I may have a public interest case and I will voice out. I really can’t say,” he said.

The Dewan Rakyat saw MPs getting out of control with loud outbursts during his time with some refusing to budge when told to sit down or leave the chamber.

Azhar said the process of electing a Speaker will be the first order of the sitting if there is a contest, otherwise the secretary will proclaim his replacement who will then take his or her oath.

Among the names being speculated is former three-term PKR Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul, who is said to be the frontrunner as the PH nominee.

According to sources, PH is also expected to nominate DAP’s Lanang MP Alice Lau as its deputy speaker candidate while BN has proposed that its Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Nor remain as the other deputy speaker.

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