KUCHING, Sept 9: Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today explained why the Senate had a “Question and Answer” (Q & A) Session that seemed similar to Parliament.
He also stressed that the roles of the Senate deferred from that of parliament.
“No, it’s not a duplication because the question of Executive accountability to Parliament is endless. The questions asked in the Senate are different and from different people representing different segments of society. The wisdom and need behind every question is also different,” Wan Junaidi told DayakDaily here today.
He was responding to queries forwarded by readers of DayakDaily who sought clarifications as to why the Senate seemingly duplicated the roles and functions of Parliament especially in the “Q & A” Session.
The Parliament Sitting was held for 25 days from July 13 – August 27, 2020 while the current Senate Sitting started on September 2-23, 2020.
Wan Junaidi, who was a former Deputy Speaker of Parliament pointed out that the ‘Q & A’ in Dewan Negara or Senate should only be abolished if the Dewan Negara so decided.
“The “Q & A” is one of the methods created in Parliament to make the Executive Government answerable to Parliament. It’s not a practice and usage but the constitutional requirement.
“When the Senate was established in 1960 and the “Q & A” was introduced to it in similar manner with the practice in the Dewan Rakyat.
“Now the practice is entrenched to become the Convention of Malaysian Parliament. If one look at the origin and history of the Parliament Malaysia and composition of the Senate, the tradition of the House of Lords in England could not be applied here,” he explained.
Wan Junaidi, who is also Santubong MP and Minister of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development reiterated that the House of Lords in England anchored its strength on the then law lords, whereas, the composition of the Senate of Malaysia is from diverse groups, which is spelt out in the Federal Constitution.
The history of the evolution of the Federal Council in 1909 and then the Legislative Council of 1955 – the date of the Self-government Malaya, also supports it.—DayakDaily