KUALA LUMPPUR, Sept 12 – Pontian Member of Parliament who is also Umno Secretary General Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan outlined out 20 parliamentary transformation proposals to restore national stability.
The 20 proposals by the candidate for Dewan Rakyat’s Deputy Speaker post are:
1. Provide each and every, both the government Backbenchers and Opposition a research officer to assist in making policy studies, speeches, questions and related assignments in the Dewan Rakyat.
2. Update the Standing Orders to be more appropriate, up-to-date and relevant to current requirements.
3. Create another Deputy Speaker position reserved for the Opposition. He or she could represents Sabah or Sarawak.
4. Parliament is actively involved in providing democracy education to as many people as possible through seminars, discourses, exhibitions, dialogues, engagement etc.
5. Create a Student Parliament Program for those in Forms 4 to 6 to add to the existing Youth Parliament and Student Parliament Program. Women’s involvement is strongly encouraged in all three Parliamentary Programs. This step is in accordance with Vote18.
6. Extend the official conference time between 10.00-5.30 pm to 10.00-6.30 pm. This additional hour is to allow MPs to be given ample time to debate. This does not include extra hours until late at night if required. Increased the Ministerial Inquiry Time (MQT) from 30 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays to 40 minutes.
7. Ensure a minimum of 12-15 oral questions to be answered within 120 minutes of the question session with a time limit of around 8-10 minutes for each question. This means the Oral Question session is increased from an hour and a half to two hours.
8. Ensure that an MP’s important policy speech is given at least 20-30 minutes and if necessary additional to meet the requirement of 20 minutes. Important debates are such as the Titah Menjunjung Kasih Diraja motion, the Budget, the Constitutional Amendment, the Malaysia Plan, new bills such as the Political Funding Act and alike.
9. Any Bill to be tabled must be given a minimum of 5 days notice to MPs before debated to allow them enough time to make a study provided secrecy and Embargo is placed.
10. Allocate RM60,000.00 per year or RM5,000.00 per month to Opposition and Independent MPs to manage Service Centers in their respective areas. The allocation is estimated to be sufficient for the allowance of two staff and office rent.
11. Hold regular Ministry Open Days in Parliament for MPs to allow them meeting directly with Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Secretary General of Ministries and Directors General.
12. Time for Special Room sessions should be extended in the afternoon by allowing MPs to ask additional questions and also broadcast live by the mainstream media.
13. Provide social media exposure training for MPs and Parliament staff as well as communication, management, international training and others to enhance their knowledge of related areas.
14. Increase the number of Select Committees covering education, religion, social, employment, housing, salary index, social, online business, health, economy, finance, land development, investment, environment, seeking new government revenue etc.
15. Support the government’s proposal for Parliamentary Transformation as announced by the Prime Minister on 10 September 2020, namely:-
i. The Anti-Party Jumping Bill,
ii. Implementation of Vote18 and automatic voter registration. Thus, a Constitutional Amendment Bill will be tabled.
iii. Amendment of the Federal Constitution to limit the term of office for the Prime Minister to 10 years.
iv. The balance of membership of the Parliamentary Select Committee involves Government MPs and Opposition MPs.
v. Every Bill including the Supply Bill tabled in Parliament will be negotiated and agreed upon jointly.
vi. Opposition Party members will be involved in the National Rehabilitation Council (MPN) to provide views and suggestions for improvement.
vii. The Opposition Leader is given remuneration and facilities equivalent to that of a Minister.
16. Each Pro-Government MP/Backbenchers and Opposition is given a special allocation for a Townhall session/engagement with the people and stakeholders in the constituency to get views on development issues, people’s welfare and the new Bill.
17. To recommend that Members of the Select Committee be given a meeting attendance allowance or any special allowance with a small but reasonable amount with the appropriate meeting frequency.
18. Propose that dialogue sessions with mainstream media be held periodically involving pro-government MPs/Backbenchers and Opposition to provide views on current issues.
19. Putting high manners and ethics in the debate so that the image of Parliament is respected in the eyes of the people to avoid it being labelled a “circus of politicians”.
20. Revive the Parliamentary Service Act so that Parliament has autonomy in terms of allocation, responsibilities, staff welfare and staffing.
DATUK SERI AHMAD BIN MASLAN