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created a troika of unequals to run Parliament which will end up in
stalemate and “cold wars” in administration and management of Parliament,
allowing him to be the “overlord” of Parliament, gravely undermining the
doctrine of separation of powers and parliamentary independence from the
From “Department of Parliament” to “office “ which he coined at the “Save Parliament” Roundtable of MPs and civil society representatives on Tuesday, Nazri appears to have made a further concession yesterday when he said it was only a “post” of “Head of Administration”, and that Kamaruddin Mohd Baria, who has been appointed to this new post, would be in a position equal to that of the Secretaries of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara. The Head of Administration, Parliament would be Superscale B post, equivalent to director-general. Nazri yesterday apologized for the earlier confusion over his choice of words.
Nazri appears to have backed down from the original intention of creating a Department of Parliament headed by a Director-General, finally conceding to a new post of “Head of Administration”, when in fact, in substance and for all practical purposes, the original effect in the usurpation of parliamentary powers, functions and independence by the Executive has not altered one iota!
The creation of the post of the Head of Administration represents the Executive assault on the doctrine of separation of powers pertaining to Parliament, as the Head of Administration will hijack all administrative powers and functions of Parliament which in the past 48 years had been exercised by the Setiausaha Parliament, who is head of the Jabatan Parliament, responsible only to the Speaker and the House subject to government rules and regulations.
How can Nazri say that the three officers, Head of Administration, Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat and Setiausaha Dewan Negara are co-equal? Such a troika of powers is most ridiculous and just not workable.
How can Nazri put the Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat and Setiausaha Dewan Negara on the same rank, when from all budgetary provisions in the past 46 years, the Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat is designated Setiausaha Parlimen while the Setiausaha Dewan Negara is designated Timbalan Setiausaha Parlimen.
Furthermore, how can both these posts be equal when Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat is a Superscale C post, placed at the salary range from RM6,135.80 to RM7,672.50 a month (or monthly take-home pay ranging from RM12,000 to RM15,000) as compared to Setiausaha Dewan Negara, which is Salary Scale N54, on the salary scale ranging from RM4,487.55 to RM4,884.43 a month?
Furthermore, how can the three posts of Head of Administration (Parliament), Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat and Setiausaha Dewan Negara be equal, when the Head of Administration is Superscale B with salary structure ranging from RM6,571.40 to RM8,229.10 a month or take-home pay very much higher than that of Superscale C?
Nazri has created a troika of unequals to run Parliament which will end up in stalemate and “cold wars” in administration and management of Parliament, allowing him to be the “overlord” of Parliament, gravely undermining the doctrine of separation of powers and parliamentary independence from the Executive.
We want Nazri to be Minister for a “First World Parliament’ and not a Minister for Parliamentary toilets and canteen, or in the words of the New Straits Times editorial yesterday, Minister for Parliamentary Janitorial Services!
Under the doctrine of separation of powers, where Parliament must be independent from the Executive, all administration powers and functions must be in the hands of Parliament, through a committee with cross-representation from MPs from both sides of the House – whether in the form of Parliamentary Services Consultative Committee or the House Committee.
DAP MP on the House Committee, Tan Kok Wai (Cheras), had been pressing in vain for a meeting of the House Committee, not only over the RM99 million renovation of Parliament, but also the row over the newly-created Department of Parliament and now Head of Administration, Parliament. If the other MPs in the House Committee are not prepared to have an emergency meeting, then they should resign and give way to others in their respective parties to fill their vacancies.
of the House Committee, headed by the Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah, are: P.
Komala Dewi (Kapar), Dato' Raja Ahmad Zainudin bin Raja Omar (Larut), Dato'
Goh Siow Huat (Rasah), Datuk Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar (Santubong) and
Datuk Suhaili bin Abdul Rahman (Labuan). All these five MPs on the House
Committee should explain why they had been negligent in protecting the
rights and privileges of parliamentarians with regard to the administration
and management of Parliament, to the extent as to allow unchecked Executive
interference and usurpation of parliamentary powers and functions.
All MPs, including front-benchers, stood up in the House this morning on the proposal of the Barisan Backbenchers’ Club Chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad to demonstrate the unanimous support of MPs from both sides of the House for the restoration of the Parliamentary Services Consultative Committee.
Nazri said during question-time that the Parliamentary Service Act 1963 was repealed in 1993 on the request of the Parliament Speaker at the time, Tun Zahir Ismail. What Zahir did was wrong, as he had acted unilaterally, which was why I said the Speaker is the servant of the House, and not the master of the House. I am shocked that Nazri contended otherwise, claiming that the Speaker is the master of the House. I will leave this important subject to another occasion.
What is worth noting is that in the debate on the Constitution Amendment Bill 1992 to lay the basis for the repeal of the Parliamentary Services Act and the demotion of the high status of Setiausaha Parliament (a grave assault on the doctrine of separation of powers), DAP MPs opposed the Constitution Amendment Bill while BN MPs supported it.
I am glad that DAP has now proved the BN wrong for supporting the Constitution Amendment Bill 1992 – as BN MPs now support the restoration of the parliamentary services consultative committee.
A bill to restore the establishment of the parliamentary services consultative committee should be presented and passed by the current meeting of Parliament. Until then, Kamaruddin should stay put as director-general of national services department and should not take up his controversial appointment as Head of Administration, Parliament. I have nothing personal against Kamaruddin. I have found him as Secretary of Suhakam a hardworking and efficient public servant – but the issue here is not about personalities but about the important principle concerning the doctrine of separation of powers and parliamentary independence, autonomy and effectiveness.
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