Government accepts parliamentary reforms

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The Govern­ment has accepted recommendations on parliamentary reforms, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia announced.

He said the proposals included the setting up of a special chamber to consider motions raised by lawmakers on pressing current issues.

“There will be a 30-minute Ministerial Question Time on Tues­days and Thursdays where MPs will be allowed to ask ministers questions,” he told reporters at a press conference here yesterday.

He said an MP would be allowed to ask a question not longer than a minute to a minister who will give a brief three-minute oral reply.

He added that the 14-day notice for a motion to be tabled would be shortened to 10.

Pandikar said the reforms would help improve administration while dispelling negative public perceptions that the Speaker and the deputies were biased.

“There is a culture among some MPs to hurriedly call for a press conference when their motion is rejected in chambers,” he added.

“They will usually attack me and my deputies as being unfair, cruel and siding with the Government when in fact it was rejected based on their motion not fulfilling the requirements or the Orders.”

Pandikar said the Government had agreed in principle to a recommendation for the setting up of special select committees for speci­fic areas.

The areas are on law reforms, wo­­­men rights, rural well-being, transportation in the city and inte­grity.

“The Government has formed a committee headed by the Deputy Prime Minister to look into the details,” he added.

He said the recommendations were the first phase of parliamentary reforms.

Asked on a time frame of the implementation, he said no time frame had been set but hoped the reforms could be implemented by this sitting.

“Whatever reforms are proposed for improvements will only happen if it has the backing and support of the Government,” he added.

Under the second phase, Pandikar said this might include the revival of the proposed Parliament Act where the post of the Speaker is elected and Parliament presents its own budget.


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