Zahid backs Azalina’s call for emergency Cabinet

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Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said, who wrote to the attorney-general proposing an emergency Cabinet to be formed until the state of emergency is lifted, has found a supporter in her party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Yusof Mat Isa

In a Facebook post, Umno chief Zahid said Azalina’s suggestion had merit as an emergency Cabinet would function with limited powers during the emergency period while still looking out for the people and nation’s welfare.

“The main thing is that the running of the country needs a check and balance. The voice of the people, through their elected representatives, needs to be considered in every policy or decision,” he said.

Zahid also noted the Pengerang MP’s concern that the executive seemed to have “free rein” over the affairs of the country during the emergency, saying this further justified the need to suspend the existing Cabinet.

He said Azalina had the standing to speak out against the suspension of Parliament since she was a deputy speaker herself, emphasising that Parliament was the legislative authority for the federation.

Earlier this week, Azalina spoke against the continued suspension of Parliament, saying she was “bewildered” that Malaysia is unable or refuses to find ways to facilitate parliamentary sittings.

In a letter to Attorney-General Idrus Harun, Azalina mooted the suspension of the current Cabinet and for it to be replaced with an emergency Cabinet with limited powers until the state of emergency is lifted on Aug 1.

“Being a member of Parliament who has served for approximately 17 years now, I am bewildered as to how and why we are unable to and or refuse to employ means in the ordinance to facilitate Parliament sittings like other nations have,” she wrote.

The letter was copied to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan, and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun, among others. – FMT

Related report: Feb 17, Azalina questions rationale for not allowing Parliament committees to meet