GOVT HAS CONSENTED TO REFORMS
I REFER to the article by Emeritus Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi “Restoring Parliament’s Eminence” (The Star, April 14). There are several misstatement of facts in the article.
First, the Government has consented to three out of four substantive and procedural reforms namely:
i. The shortening of notice for submission of questions for oral and written answers from 14 days to 10 days before the commencement of a session of the Dewan Rakyat. From 10 oral questions an MP is allowed to submit for a session, he can defer submission of up to three questions. The three questions can be submitted during the session with seven days notice given.
This is to allow the MP to submit questions regarding the current situation that occurs during the session;
ii. The establishment of a Special Chamber that will sit concurrently with the main Dewan Rakyat during the session to debate on matters that are specific, urgent and of public importance and also on administrative matters under the purview of the Executive; and
iii. The establishment of “Minister’s Question Time” of half an hour each on Tuesday and Thursday.
The Government has also deferred the fourth proposed reform, that is the establishment of select committees to enable further studies to be done on the workings of the committee system in other countries such as Australia, Canada and the UK.
NIK SHAFIRUDDIN NIK SHAHAR SHAH
Special Functions Officer to Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department