KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the opposition was only using Tun Dr Mahathir for political gain by bringing the former prime minister to join the briefing session on the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 at Parliament House today.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the one-hour closed-door briefing was meant to be between her and opposition Members of the Parliament (MP), and that Dr Mahathir was not invited.
“I am not sure how he (Tun M) got in. I held the briefing only for the opposition MPs… But if they (opposition) called him in, what can I do? That is their right.
“But then again, I was disappointed because I engaging the opposition. We had a lot of laws to talk about. In fact, when (I) wanted to discuss, they talked about political issues… How then to talk about the legislation ?” she told at the Parliament building.
“I do not blame Tun M. As for me, he is being used by the opposition because they want to use Tun M just to scare us… But I feel sorry for Tun M,” she said.
Azalina said that the action by several opposition parliamentarians who left the briefing before it ended made it difficult for the process of explaining the Bill, and showed that they were desperate.
“Pagoh (MP) left, so too Lembah Pantai (MP). In fact, he (Tun M) also walked out before it (briefing) ended… but what to do. They came to talk and then they left,” she said.
Elaborating further, Azalina said the government was now more open because it was willing to hold dialogues and briefings with the opposition when it came to drafting laws, compared to the time during Dr Mahathir’s reign where such a session was never held.
“At least, I held a dialogue for the public interest so that as elected representatives, they can voice out and express views on the legislation.
“I wanted to hear the views (from the perspective of) the law. Instead, they had only given opinions from the political point of view,” she added. – BERNAMA