Azalina: Offer deputy speaker role to Opposition if you’re serious about reforms!

PUTRAJAYA should offer the Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker role to a member of the Opposition if it is serious about reforms and bipartisanship, said outgoing deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

This is in response to the question as to what the Government and Opposition could do to promote greater cooperation during a forum on parliamentary reform that was hosted by the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia.

The Pengerang MP had said that the answer was “obvious”.

“[I] should be replaced by an Opposition member, but the motion must be by the Government.

“This is the best opportunity for the Prime Minister to offer that as a gesture and get the ball rolling.

“This is something that is achievable. If the Government does that, and it is supported unanimously for example, I think it would be fantastic for Malaysia’s parliamentary history, because we are showing a gesture that we want Parliament to be a professional platform.”

On the topic of parliamentary reforms, Azalina further added that it was worth considering changes to the composition of Parliamentary Special Select Committees (PSSC) to include a designated number of Opposition members.

Currently, only the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is chaired by a member of the Opposition, although she noted that the Opposition members are outnumbered in the committee.

“If the Government is really serious about reform, the numbers can be divided evenly between the Opposition and backbenchers,” she suggested.

Azalina, who resigned on Aug 23, previously said that she was vacating her seat for the Government and the Opposition to ‘reset’ the Dewan Rakyat in the upcoming sitting in September.

By : Bernie Yeo – FOCUS MALAYSIA

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