Azalina: AG should attend special Parliament sitting to explain rationale for ordinances during Emergency

PETALING JAYA: The Attorney General should be present at Parliament's five-day special sitting beginning July 26 to justify the rationale of the ordinances promulgated during the Emergency, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

In a statement on July 21, the Deputy Speaker and Pengerang MP noted that the AG is not legally required to answer to Parliament but allowing him to be heard would allay any doubts there was any conflict of interest on his part.

"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".

Seen in this light, she said that the AG is a legal advisor to the King, the Cabinet as well as both upper and lower houses of Parliament.

Azalina also said the country should consider appointing an AG who is also an MP.

"Yes, there are concerns of having a political AG in Malaysia as his tenure in office is at the mercy of the Prime Minister.

"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," said Azalina.

She also said the AG should be included in Cabinet meetings so he can continually provide legal advice and not on an "as and when" basis.

Azalina also called for more parliamentary special select committees to be set up, more funding provided and to reinstate the Parliamentary Services Act (PSA) as soon as possible.

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