KUALA LUMPUR — Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said has suggested that the Attorney General Idrus Harun should also participate in the upcoming Parliamentary Special Sitting meeting next week.
In a Facebook statement, Azalina said the member of parliaments have questions unanswered and Article 145(2) of the Constitution states that it is the “duty of the Attorney General to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the Cabinet or any Minister on legal matters as chief legal advisor of Malaysia and seen in this light, the AG is not only the legal advisor to the Cabinet of Ministers but rather he is also the legal advisor to the YDP Agong, which together with both Upper and Lower Houses, constitute Parliament.
“Presently, the AG is not legally required to answer directly to the Parliament. In lieu of that, who will justify the rationale of the Ordinances promulgated during the Emergency? To allay doubts of potential conflict of interest on the AG’s conduct, any AG should be given the right to be heard in Parliament in person and not through a third party.” she added.
Azalina suggested that the the administration of this country consider reverting to having a Member of Parliament as AG.
“The late Tun Abdul Razak in his capacity as the then Deputy Prime Minister moved the 2nd reading of a Bill for constitutional amendments to made for the appointment of a political AG.
“He stated that — The Government is of the view that with the progress of our country and of our democratic institutions, it may prove desirable at some future date to have an Attorney General as a member of the House. It may be convenient, and it may be desirable for the chief legal adviser to the Government to sit in this House to explain and answer legal matters.”
“Yes, there are concerns of having a political AG in Malaysia for his tenure in office is at the mercy of the Prime Minister and it is for this reason that any future Malaysian government must look into delegating the political AG’s prosecution powers to the Solicitor-General, who is independent and has prosecution expertise.
“To allay concerns about the AG’s tenure, Malaysia must restore the provision of having a tribunal before the AG can be removed just like we used to pre-1963.
“To ensure legal matters are efficiently looked into and scrutinised, the AG should be included in all Cabinet meetings so that legal matters are continually given to the Executive and that the AG’s legal advice is not only sought and given on an ‘as and when’ basis.” she highlighted.