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MP SPEAKS | I am privileged to have been given the honour to be the Dewan Rakyat's deputy speaker. I have tried my best to discharge my duty faithfully and impartially.

Nevertheless, as a human being, I am not spared from weaknesses and shortcomings, for which I sincerely offer my apologies to my parliamentary colleagues and all Malaysians.

To allay public speculations regarding my resignation today and the many versions of false cabinet line-ups, I wish to state my reasons for resignation.

1) Personal moral capacity as deputy speaker

There is a conflict of roles and responsibilities between being a Supreme Council member of Umno and as an MP in a ruling coalition. Past events have revealed conflicting decisions within Umno as a party and MPs of a coalition government.

In future, speakers and deputy speakers of the Lower House should be suspended from any political party posts to ensure political impartiality, which is a key feature of the office, so he or she can effectively function without fear or favour.

2) Official responsibility as deputy speaker

The developments in the past 17 months have led me to reflect on the institutional defects of our parliamentary institutions and my own limitations to discharge my duty well in such a setting without compromising my professional integrity.

My personal value system pertaining to the rule of law, parliamentary democracy, as well as check-and-balance since the Emergency Proclamation in January 2021 has been consistent.

My frustration and distress are public knowledge, and the reasons known. My official capacity is warranted by law and process, which is to uphold the Federal Constitution and Standing Orders of the lower House at all costs.

READ MORE: Azalina confirms resignation as deputy speaker, hopes for 'reset' in Parliament

3) Effectiveness of holding office in support of public integrity

The lack of consultation and joint decision-making impacted my performance as deputy speaker. As per the Standing Orders, a deputy speaker cannot make his or her own ruling in the Dewan.

Shared decision-making, as well as responsibility, impartiality, fairness, and mutual respect, are the key elements that I wish to see in the Malaysian Parliament.

In closing, with the appointment of the new prime minister, and the public's loud and clear demand for multiparty cooperation, I have tendered my resignation today to vacate my seat so that the government and the opposition may have more room to reset our Dewan Rakyat so that this august House can truly function as a forum for professional competition and collaboration between parties on policies and governance.

I will support any reforms the government and the opposition may want to move in their collective wisdom. It has been a great honour and privilege to serve as deputy speaker, an office that I sincerely respect, for the past 13 months.

I thank all my parliamentary colleagues and fellow Malaysians who have given me invaluable support and criticism in my humble attempt to be a faithful servant of the Parliament and the nation.

“This is no time for ease and comfort, it is time to dare and endure.”

- Winston Churchill

AZALINA OTHMAN SAID is Umno's Pengerang MP.

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