Zahid says he supports concerns raised by Azalina over Parliament restrictions

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says he supports the concerns raised by the Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker over the restrictions on Parliament's activities.

In a Facebook post, Ahmad Zahid said he had read the letter written by Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said to Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun and studied the matter raised.

"She expressed concern over the function of Parliament to check and balance in the country's democratic system which is suspended altogether following the Emergency proclamation," said Ahmad Zahid in a statement Friday (Feb 19).

He added that in his opinion, Azalina had the right to voice that concern as she is the Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat.

"We know Parliament is a federal legislative body to examine government policies, approve expenditure and national tax policies. Parliament is also a forum to discuss matters related to the interests of the people," said Ahmad Zahid.

He added that Azalina also expressed concern that the suspension of Parliament had invited shortcomings to the policy of segregation of the powers of the executive, legislative and judiciary in the country.

Ahmad Zahid said that the separation of powers was also one of the most important doctrines in democratic governance.

"It aims to avoid the duplication of jurisdiction and abuse of power due to the centralisation of power in certain bodies," he said.

He said that Azalina is of the view that the executive seems to have freedom without the doctrine of separation of powers.

Ahmad Zahid added that he believes that it is justified for the Deputy Speaker to call for the Special Emergency Cabinet to be formed immediately.

He said this special Cabinet would function with limited powers until the Emergency proclamation ends to safeguard the interests of the country and the people.

"Most importantly, the administration of the country needs to be checked and balanced. The voice and views of the people must be taken into account in every policy or decision made through their elected representatives," he said.

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