Law and Institutional Reform Minister Azalina Othman Said this morning fired a salvo at Perikatan Nasional for not separating the powers of the attorney-general and public prosecutor when they were the government.
This comes after opposition chief Hamzah Zainudin (Bersatu-Larut) alleged that the current administration was practising selective prosecution against opposition leaders, including when the Attorney-General’s Chambers pressed criminal charges against PN chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin (Bersatu-Pagoh).
Azalina told the Dewan Rakyat that the power to charge and withdraw any charge against an accused person in court is solely under the attorney general’s discretion and protected under the Federal Constitution.
She said it is unfair for the opposition to cry selective prosecution when PN leaders are charged in court.
“I want to ask you, when you were in power, why didn’t you separate the powers of the attorney-general (and prosecutor)?
“When your leaders get charged, you say they are victims of selective prosecution. But when the same happens to the other side, ‘padan muka’ (you say they deserve it).
“What is this? At least on our side, we are committed to walk the talk (in separating the powers). Unlike you, who didn’t even discuss the idea,” she said.
Azalina (BN-Pengerang) said this in her speech during the Parliament special session on the 12th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review this morning.
She was responding to Hamzah and Ronald Kiandee (Bersatu-Beluran) who raised questions on alleged selective prosecutions by the government.
Hamzah claimed that the government had persecuted Muhyiddin by dragging him to court, which later acquitted and discharged him from four counts of power abuse charges.
Why didn’t you separate roles of AG, PP, Azalina asks PN
Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said chides Perikatan Nasional for its inaction in over two years at the helm of Putrajaya.
KUALA LUMPUR: Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said has hit out at the opposition for failing to separate the roles of the attorney-general and public prosecutor when they were in power.
Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, Azalina (BN-Pengerang) accused the opposition of inaction when Perikatan Nasional (PN) was part of the federal government for more than two years, first with Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister, then succeeded by Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“You not only did nothing, but you didn’t even speak up! I sat here and raised this issue as a backbencher,” she said during her winding-up speech of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) mid-term review.
“This (unity) government is committed to fairer governance. That’s why our hashtag is ‘we walk the talk’. Their (opposition) hashtag, on the other hand, is ‘they don’t walk, they don’t talk’!”