What Is The Dewan Rakyat Speaker’s Role And Why Is It Such A Big Deal?

With the Parliament looking to restart on 13 July, there have been talks about the Speaker of the House of Representatives (Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat).

Given that the position is mentioned in the Federal Constitution, it sounds like the person who holds this position is pretty much a big deal.

As you’re probably aware, Malaysia’s Parliamentary system is divided into 2 – Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.

Both of these chambers has its own speaker, Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat and also Yang di-Pertua Dewan Negara.

For this article, we’ll take a look at the Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat:

How can someone become a Dewan Rakyat Speaker?

According to Parliament’s official website, the Speaker of the House of Representatives may be elected by the members of the House of Representatives.

You don’t have to be a member of the House of Representatives to become the Speaker, as long as you’re are deemed qualified, you can be elected.

Picture Credit: Federal Constitution

What are the functions of the Speaker?

The person will be responsible for: 

  • overseeing the meeting so that it runs smoothly
  • ensure that the debate complies with the Rules of the House of Representatives
  • make decisions and interpretations of the Rules of the Meeting in the event of a dispute

How can the Speaker leave his/her post?

According to Parliament, the Speaker of the House of Representatives may resign and shall vacate the office if:

  • when the House first meets after a general election
  • if he is disqualified under Clause 5
  • if the House at any time so resolves.

Clause 5 states that a Speaker will be disqualified if he or she still holds or becomes a board member of a particular company.

However, this doesn’t apply to charity organisations.

Picture Credit: Federal Constitution

Hakim Hassan – TRP

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