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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Sept 3: The new government will reintroduce Parliamentary Service Act to give more independence to Parliament by creating a new Act to replace the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the current Parliamentary Service Act must be substituted because it is completely obsolete, outdated, and no longer suitable for the political landscape in the 21st century.
“Instead of amending it, it is better to come up with a new act of parliament which is more comprehensive, inclusive, and complete.
“This is to also follow what is currently being made by most Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and India,” he said in a statement today.
Wan Junaidi who is the Santubong MP also proposed discussion on more amendments to the present Standing Orders and Rules of Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.
He said this move was crucial in order to suit the proposed new Act and the reintroduction of the Parliamentary Service Act.
“While there have been amendments made from time to time, many of these rules are a relic of the Federal Agreement 1948, which was only amended in 1956 for the independence of Malaya in 1957. It was further amended in 1959 to create a basis for Standing Order and Rules of Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat.
“However, many of these rules are not able to accommodate many modern things in Parliament. Many Commonwealth countries have been making necessary amendments to their rules and procedure in parliament to suit current time and in our quest for parliamentary reforms, it is crucial for us to make more changes and improvements to the set of rules that may no longer be suitable in today’s environment.
“The amendments made should also focus on efforts to empower the Parliamentary committee,” he added.
Wan Junaidi said his discussion about issues on Parliamentary transformation with Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun yesterday (Sept 2) had received positive feedback.
“I am indeed happy to inform that both the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat speakers took the proposal positively and are, in fact, prepared to take on the lead role in the transformation of our Parliament.
“In line with this, we have also agreed to form a joint-committee between Parliament and my Ministry to ensure that the various proposals discussed can be executed swiftly.
“As for the next course of action, I will be submitting a report on this matter to the Cabinet for endorsement,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily