Former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who is from UMNO, should be made the Home Affairs Minister, according to Segambut member of Parliament (MP) Hannah Yeoh
Yeoh, who is from DAP and is in the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, vouched for the Pengerang MP, who recently resigned from the deputy speaker's post, citing lack of impartiality and fairness.
In an interview with Astro Awani last night, 24 August, Yeoh — who was the former deputy minister of women, family, and community development in the PH administration — said that Azalina is not only best suited for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) but that she can even lead three different key ministries.
To support her call for Azalina to be given three different portfolios, the Segambut MP pointed out that Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin, in fact, handled three portfolios that were combined into one ministry.
In the PH administration, Yeo had helmed the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change (MESTECC). Following the collapse of the PH administration, MESTECC was restructured with one of the portfolios named Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI).
"I am very hopeful after I saw the resignation of Azalina and I'll tell you why. During our time in Putrajaya, we all knew that Yeo Bee Yin took on the role of three men. I feel that right now since Azalina is no longer a deputy speaker, she can be a frontrunner in being picked for important ministries," she said.
Yeoh shared that MOHA should be held by a woman
"The Ministry of Home Affairs should be held by a woman. A lot of times, we have seen this ministry as a prized possession given to powerful, senior men in any political party," she said during the interview.
"But there are a lot of issues concerning citizenship, marriages, and divorces and all of these are parked under the National Registration Department. Stateless children too; these are core issues that must be tackled. Unfortunately, we haven't seen any Home Affairs Minister dealing with these issues. So I feel it would be good for the Prime Minister to pick Azalina as the new Home Affairs Minister."
She went on to bat for Azalina to be given additional portfolios in the yet to be announced new Cabinet under newly-minted Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
"And if they can't (make her the Home Affairs Minister), then she has to be the Law Minister or a Women Minister. Preferably, if she can do all three, that would be wonderful," Yeoh added.
It is understood that Yeoh was referring to the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development (KPWKM) when she called for Azalina to be made the Women Minister. It was last held by Rina Harun.
Stressing that Azalina is capable and is very sincere and consultative, the DAP politician highlighted how the UMNO MP has proven herself as a deputy speaker by engaging the opposition.
"She looked into bipartisan prison reforms, she was chair of the select committee for women and children and has previously legislated on Sexual Offences Against Children Act," Yeoh shared.
Acknowledging the proposal, Azalina thanked Yeoh for the honour
"Whatever happens, we'll continue to work together on common issues of concern," she added.