Malaysiakini News

Azalina backs splitting AG's prosecution role, proposes faster alternative

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Former de facto law minister Azalina Othman Said backs Pakatan Harapan's proposal to separate the role of public prosecutor from the attorney-general, but has offered an alternative that would allow for immediate implementation.

Harapan had initially proposed the creation of an Office of the Public Prosecutor, and leaving the Attorney-Generals' Chambers to be headed by an MP tasked with advising the government on legal matters.

Since this would require a constitutional amendment in Parliament, Azalina proposed the faster alternative to making the attorney-general a law minister. 

"There are other ways to split the public prosecutor from the AGC, which can be done by appointing the attorney-general as a senator and then as the law minister.

"This will allow the attorney-general to be accountable to Parliament. The solicitor-general can then carry out the duties of the prosecution as provided under the law," she said in a statement today.

At present, the solicitor-general assists the attorney-general, and is the second most senior position in the AGC.

Azalina said her proposal is not new and was practised until the 1980s.

She also related the challenges she faced as de facto law minister in having to answer questions in Parliament on behalf of the AGC, even though she was not part of it.

"As a former minister in charge of law, I too faced constraints in answering to Parliament on behalf of the AGC, as many matters are under the prerogative of the attorney-general," she said.

Azalina also suggested the introduction of a law ministry, and pledged to support any legal reforms that are in the interest of the people.

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