Hannah Yeoh moots Azalina to helm home, law and women’s ministries

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Umno’s Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said would make a “good” candidate in charge of three ministries, including the key home affairs portfolio, according to Opposition MP Hannah Yeoh.

The Segambut MP commended her political rival as among the most capable MPs to manage the Home Ministry, the Law Ministry and Women’s Ministry simultaneously due to her passion, intellect and in-depth knowledge of problems dogging the country domestically.

“The Home Ministry should be held by a woman. Many times, we’ve seen this ministry as a prized possession given to powerful men in political parties. But there are many issues concerning citizenships, regarding marriages, divorces and stateless children that are parked under the National Registry Department.

“These are core issues that must be tackled. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any home minister tackle these issues. That is why I feel it would be good for the new prime minister to pick Azalina as the home minister,” Yeoh said in an interview with Astro Awani aired last night.

“If not, then as law or women minister. Preferable if she can do all three that would be wonderful, she can. She is very consultative,” she added.

The DAP lawmaker said Azalina had proven her inclusivity when she was Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker and consulted Opposition MPs for their views.

“She looked into prison reforms, chairing committees and even the select committee on women, she included us in those discussions,” Yeoh elaborated.

Yeoh said taking charge of three ministries would not be a burden on one person, pointing out that Yeo Bee Yin had been put in charge of three different portfolios combined into one ministry when Pakatan Harapan was in power.

Bakri MP Yeo had helmed the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry previously.

Azalina, the Pengerang MP, has headed several ministries when Barisan Nasional was in power, though not simultaneously.

She had been a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department during the Najib administration from 2016 to 2018. Initially, she was in charge of parliamentary affairs, which was later expanded to include legal affairs.

Before that, Azalina was tourism minister from March 2008 till April 2009, and later youth and sports minister from March 2004 till March 2008.

Azalina responded to Yeoh’s proposal on Twitter, calling it an honour.

“TQ YB. This is indeed an honour coming from you. Whatever happens, we’ll continue to work together on common issues of concern. Insyallah.”

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who was sworn in as the ninth Malaysian prime minister last week, is expected to announce his Cabinet this week.