DAP meets Azalina, open to backing her as speaker

·2-min read
DAP meets Azalina, open to backing her as speaker
DAP meets Azalina, open to backing her as speaker

DAP has approached Umno's Pengerang MP Azalina Said Othman to discuss reforms and possibly even backing her candidacy for Dewan Rakyat speaker.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the party had sent its deputy national chairperson Gobind Singh Deo to meet Azalina over her proposal on recall election, as part of a law package to stop elected representatives from defecting mid-term.

"DAP is willing to discuss further with her if she is serious about putting her name forward to replace Azhar Azizan Harun as Dewan Rakyat speaker," Lim said in a statement today.

He claimed that Azhar's "subservience" to the executive had badly damaged Parliament's image and credibility, thus the latter should be replaced.

Lim said Azalina had in recent months been at the forefront of advocating institutional reforms for Parliament and the DAP would like her to pledge how she can be different from Azhar.

"Azalina should set out her plans on how to avoid Parliament becoming a mere rubber-stamp of the prime minister and establish parliamentary sovereignty as inscribed in our Federal Constitution.

"The people want Parliament to be the key institution of democracy that makes a positive difference in the lives of Malaysians," he added.

Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun (left) and his former deputy Azalina Othman Said
Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun (left) and his former deputy Azalina Othman Said

Lim was referring to a Malaysiakini report which cited sources claiming that Umno was planning to nominate Azalina as the new speaker and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will move a motion to do so when Parliament reconvenes on Sept 13.

Azhar was appointed by means of a motion filed by then prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin in July last year.

In late July, Azhar's refusal to allow the tabling of motions to allow the annulment of emergency laws - as decreed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to fulfil Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution - left a black mark in his career.

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