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Call on all MPs whether Barisan Nasional or Opposition to take a common stand to oppose establishment of Department of Parliament which will turn Parliament into a government department like the ACA
At present, the head of Parliament administration is the Setiausaha Parliament who is answerable only to the Speaker and Parliament. When a Department of Parliament is established, the Setiausaha Parliament will suffer a double demotion of powers and functions as he will cease to be the top-ranking administrative and parliamentary officer, having to be answerable to a new Director-General for the Department of Parliament, who will in turn be responsible to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
The Malaysian Parliament will have the dubious distinction of being the only parliamentary system where Parliament is downgraded so blatantly into a department of the Executive, totally repugnant to the doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary which the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had pledged to uphold in his first official maiden speech as Prime Minister in Parliament on November 3, 2003.
I am shocked that the first person to come out in support of a Department of Parliament which will turn Parliament into a government department is none other than the Chairman of the Barisan Backbenchers Club, Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, who expressed the hope that “the department’s director-general would improve the administration and support services” in Parliament. (NST 7.10.05)
I call on Shahrir to lead Barisan Nasional MPs to work with Opposition MPs to oppose the establishment of a Department of Parliament and the appointment of a Director-General of the Department of Parliament so as to protect the little that is left of parliamentary independence and autonomy.
Shahrir should not forget that he was Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) about two decades ago, and it is most shocking and completely unacceptable to Malaysian, Commonwealth and world Parliamentarians that a former head of CPA could support the very notion of the usurpation of Parliament’s distinct role, powers and functions by turning it into a government department like the ACA.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman