Malaysian law minister Azalina Othman Said, who made history as the country’s first female deputy speaker, is at the forefront of several large and international headline-grabbing developments — including the scrapping of the country’s mandatory death penalty and a June victory in a protracted legal battle that has come to be known as the “Sulu case.”
In Tokyo this week, Said — commanding two phones and a team of staff, as well as swapping chummy hellos with other delegates in town for a raft of meetings, including the ASEAN-Japan Special Meeting of Justice Ministers held Thursday — was enjoying Malaysia’s latest arbitration victory. Overlooking a serene koi pond and traditional sculpted Japanese garden, the minister, who has practiced tae kwon do since she was 10 years old, is prepared to keep fighting.
“To be very honest, the decision doesn't surprise me or even my country. Because from day one, we knew that the arbitration award was a sham, it's a rogue arbitrator, it's a sham award,” she said, echoing her original statement following the Paris win.