Azalina chides Ismail Sabri for not appointing new AG after becoming PM

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Azalina Othman took Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to task today, chiding him for not appointing a new attorney general after taking the reins of power.

She said in any other country, a prime minister would only appointment his own people as the AG.

Azalina, who is also the special adviser on law and human rights to Ismail Sabri, said the power of the AG are “too big”, and therefore, it only made sense for a prime minister to choose those from his circle to take on the position.

“I’ve been an Umno division leader for over 20 years. Of course, the division secretary is my own man, and so is the information chief, because I appointed them.

“Except for the Women, Youth and Puteri chiefs... they are elected by party members because this is the democracy of political parties.

“Many of us have been in the Cabinet. We know. In any democracies, an AG will be replaced according to the voice of the leadership,” she said during her speech for the Umno president’s special briefing at World Trade Centre (WTC) Kuala Lumpur today.

Azalina explained that the AG is accorded tremendous power under the Constitution, including the power to prosecute or drop criminal charges against any individual.

“This is why it remains the norm for other democratic countries to appoint their nation’s top legal officer from the ranks of the ruling coalition or supporters.

“If we look at the history of any democratic nation, any change in the AG follows the will of their leaders.

“Enough, I do not want to talk too much; later we will all get arrested,” she said in jest.

Azalina said the recent sentencing of former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also a former prime minister, would not be the last among Umno leaders, while pinning the blame on the current AG whom she did not mention by name.

At the same time, Azalina, who is Pengerang MP, questioned the recent Federal Court’s decision to reject Najib’s bid to postpone the proceedings after changing his team of lawyers.

“I just want to say one thing: Can’t we change lawyers? If he is guilty, even if he changes his lawyers 10 times, he will still be guilty.

“When they asked for a delay, and then the request was rejected, I can only say this: ‘Jeng jeng jeng’.

“So what can we do now? We must fight. If you are brave enough, let’s fight today,” she said drawing cheers from the more than 2,000 members packed into the Merdeka Hall at WTC Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, former Kelantan DAP chairman and lifetime party member Datuk Zaid Ibrahim called for his old party, Umno, to be saved and emerge victorious in the 15th general election (GE15).

In his recorded speech today, he claimed there was a calculated move by some quarters to destroy Umno.

Agreeing with Azalina, he said the recent Federal Court judgment sending Najib to prison was an “bizarre” legal process.

“If the son of Tun Abdul Razak can’t get justice, how can ‘marhaen’ people like us get justice?

“I want Umno members to understand that the issue is the flaws in our laws are too grave.

“This is the time for us to return to the rakyat, win this general election, change all these cruel laws, and give the rights to everyone to be represented.

“These are the promises Umno must make in the general election,” he said.

Zaid, who was a former law minister under Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s premiership, also questioned Putrajaya’s decision to allow leeway in certain court cases but not for Najib’s.

He said the current government should not be hypocritical by practising double standards.