Umno’s Azalina confirms resignation as Malaysia’s deputy speaker

Reasons for Ms Azalina's resignation include a conflict of roles and responsibilities between being an Umno supreme council member and MP in a ruling coalition. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Umno's Azalina Othman Said on Monday (Aug 23) confirmed her resignation as Malaysia's Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker.

The Pengerang MP cited several reasons for her resignation including a conflict of roles and responsibilities between being an Umno supreme council member and MP in a ruling coalition.

"Past events have revealed conflicting decisions within Umno as a party and MPs of a coalition government," she said.

"In the future, Speakers and Deputy Speakers of the Lower House should be suspended from any political party posts to ensure political impartiality, which is a key feature of the Office, so he or she can effectively function without fear or favour."

She added that the developments in the past 17 months have led her to reflect on the institutional defects of Malaysia's parliamentary institutions as well as her own limitations to discharge her duties well without compromising professional integrity.

"My personal value system pertaining to the rule of law, parliamentary democracy, check and balance since the Emergency Proclamation in January 2021 has been consistent," said the first woman to become deputy speaker of Malaysia's lower house of parliament.

"My frustration and distress are public knowledge, and the reasons known.

"My official capacity is warranted by law and process, which is to uphold the Federal Constitution and standing orders of the Lower House at all costs."

She added that a lack of consultation and joint decision-making impacted her performance as deputy speaker.

Ms Azalina added that with the appointment of new Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, and the public's loud and clear demand for multiparty cooperation, she tendered her resignation so the government and the opposition might have more room to reset the Dewan Rakyat and the house can truly function as the forum for professional competition and collaboration between parties on policies and governance.

"I will support any reforms the government and the opposition may want to move in their collective wisdom," she said.

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