Weekly Highlights

Azalina Othman must prove that she is different than her predecessor

If Parliament Was Permitted To Fulfil Its Check And Balance Mechanism And Convene During The Emergency, The Record Rise In COVID-19 Infections And Deaths Could Have Been Mitigated.

DAP cautiously welcomes the proposal to nominate UMNO Pengerang MP and former Deputy Speaker Azalina Othman Said as the new Dewan Rakyat speaker to replace the current speaker Azhar Harun. This follows the disappointing and poor performance of Azhar who failed to uphold the supremacy of Parliament, independent from the dictates of the executive, but also his open defiance and disobedience to the Yang di Pertuan Agong to reconvene Parliament during the Emergency.

Even though Azalina had been at the forefront of advocating institutional reforms for Parliament to play its correct and proper role in the Federal Constitution to ensure parliamentary democracy and a functioning constitutional monarchy, DAP would like to get her views on how she would preside differently from Azhar as Speaker.

Parliament under Azhar has perceived to have mutated from a fountain of democracy to be a mere department of the Executive under the previous Prime Minister designed principally to maintain his tenuous hold on power, particularly after losing his Parliamentary majority.

DAP Deputy National Chairman and MP for Puchong Gobind Singh Deo has met Azalina, who wanted to discuss her proposal about recall election as part of the anti-hopping law package. DAP is willing to discuss further with her if she is serious about putting her name forward to replace Azhar to restore Parliament’s image and credibility that has been badly damaged by Azhar’s subservience to the Executive.

Parliament can not continue to be absent or operate in a political vacuum with the Speaker continuing to play a deferential and acquiescent role merely to prop up the Prime Minister.” – Lim Guan Eng

If Parliament was permitted to fulfil its check and balance mechanism and convene during the Emergency, answers could have been given on the current COVID-19 and economic crisis that could have mitigated the record rise in infections and deaths.

Azalina should therefore 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.

Further, DAP approves her support that an opposition MP be appointed as one of the Deputy Speakers that respects the fundamental principle of Parliament belonging to all MPs, not just to the government but also to the opposition. Pakatan Harapan has proposed former Deputy Speaker and Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming for the Deputy Speaker post recently vacated by Azalina. As the King has commanded after the election results, “Winners should not take all and losers do not lose all”.

Lim Guan Eng

DAP Secretary-General

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