The DAP today voiced cautious support for UMNO’s Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s candidacy as the next Dewan Rakyat Speaker to succeed Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun.
A petition for recall elections was filed by Azalina to prevent MPs from switching parties midstream, according to its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
In a statement, Lim said that DAP is willing to discuss further with Azalina if she is serious about replacing Azhar to restore Parliament’s image and credibility.
He said that under Azhar, Parliament had ceased to function as a free and independent institution for checks and balances and had devolved into “a mere department” designed to maintain the executive branch of government in power.
The Bagan MP expressed optimism that the government backbencher would be ready to elaborate on her reform ideas.
“Azalina should thus outline her strategy for preventing Parliament from devolving into a rubber stamp for the Prime Minister and reestablishing Parliamentary autonomy as stipulated in our Federal Constitution,” Lim added.
He said that Malaysia’s current Covid-19 health and economic problems might have been averted had Parliament been permitted to function as a democratic institution during the eight-month-long national Emergency from January to August.
Lim added that the people want Parliament to remain the primary democratic institution that improves Malaysians’ lives.
DAP also supports Azalina’s proposal to designate an Opposition MP as deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker.
“Pakatan Harapan has nominated former Deputy Speaker and Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming to fill Azalina’s vacancy.
According to the King’s election results, “winners should not take everything and losers should not lose all.”
When she was deputy speaker of the Lower House, a position she resigned last month before the new administration headed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Azalina was praised as a reformer by the opposition, particularly the DAP.
Azalina was proposed as Speaker by Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, who praised her as UMNO’s most competent and progressive MP.
The Malay Mail reported on September 3 that UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has filed motions to remove Azhar as speaker and nominate Azalina as speaker.
It’s unclear whether the motion will be tabled.The Dewan Rakyat will now meet on September 13 instead of September 6.