ONE of the most welcomed appointments to the cabinet must that be of Azalina Othman Said as the new law and institutional reform minister.
One can say that the office fits her like a glove. She is cut out for it.
With vast experiences as a cabinet member and having helmed various ministries since 2004, Azalina once made history when she became the first woman to be appointed as youth and sports minister in 2004 and the first woman to be appointed deputy speaker of the House of Representatives in 2020.
She was also the tourism minister from 2008 to 2009 and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Legal Affairs) from 2015 to 2018.
The Malays would say: “seperti pinang pulang ke tampuk, bagai sirih pulang ke gagang”.
It is most heartening also that she knows that she has her work cut out for her as she vows to address laws that are outdated and make necessary amendments to be relevant to current times.,
When she was appointed adviser to Ismail Sabri Yaacob on law and human rights in October last year, I said she must put the establishment of an independent law reform commission (LRC) on her advice list to the then prime minister.
To address laws that are outdated and make necessary amendments to be relevant to current times, the country can’t do without an LRC. Law reform is too serious a matter to be left to the government alone. Comprehensive revisions oftentimes resulted from recommendations made by an independent LRC.
The recommendations come after research and consultations with stakeholders, which must include members of the community, other than the usual government departments, courts, legal professionals, industry groups, non-government organisations, special interest groups and academics.
In short, there must be consultation with people who have expertise and experience in the laws under review, as well as people likely to be affected by the laws in question.
The community must be involved in the process of law reform. – December 6, 2022.
* Hafiz Hassan reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.