,DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng says a replacement is necessary following Azhar Azizan Harun's poor performance to uphold the supremacy of Parliament and his disobedience to the Yang di Pertuan Agong. – The Malaysian Insight pic, September 6, 2021.
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DAP has cautiously backed any move to nominate Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said as the new Dewan Rakyat speaker to replace Azhar Azizan Harun.
In a statement, DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng said a replacement is necessary following Azhar’s poor performance to uphold the supremacy of Parliament and his disobedience to the Yang di Pertuan Agong to reconvene the august house 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 been 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,” said Lim today. The statement comes in the wake of a report by Malaysiakini recently which claimed that Umno plans to nominate the former deputy speaker to replace Azhar. Quoting sources, the report said there is an attempt to remove Azhar from his post. Azhar, on the other hand, has denied that he set aside 15 motions to remove him from office. He said he will not handle the motions for his removal and appointment of another candidate as there is a conflict of interest, and has left the matter to deputy speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon. “An Utusan Malaysia report which, among others, claimed that I set aside the motions from being debated and insinuated I rejected the motions is untrue,” he said. Lim said that if Parliament was permitted to fulfil its check and balance role and convene during the Emergency, answers could have been given to the economic crisis and mitigated the record rise in infections and deaths relating to Covid-19. “Parliament cannot 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,” the Bagan MP added. Lim revealed that DAP deputy national chairman Gobind Singh Deo has met Azalina to discuss her proposal about recall elections as part of the anti-hopping law package. Lim stated that DAP is willing to discuss further with the Umno lawmaker if she is serious about putting her name forward to replace Azhar to restore Parliament’s image. “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,” Lim stressed. Lim also applauded Azalina for suggesting that an opposition MP be appointed as one of the deputy speakers. “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’,” he said. Azalina recently backed the proposal to implement the anti-party-hopping law which she said will protect voters’ mandate and reduce politicking between political parties. The former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker also said that Malaysian politics is in a mess today because of party-hopping. She was also sending a motion on a Recall Bill to Parliament, according to the report. – September 6, 2021.