Restore the Dignity of Parliament


The last Parliamentary sitting of 2019 ended on 5 Dec 2019. Here’s the summary of progress on PH’s Institutional and Political Reform – Promise 16
Promise 16 Parliamentary Select Committee, Restore the Dignity of Parliament


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Start of Dewan Rakyat session delayed, not enough MPs present

20 November 2019

The Dewan Rakyat which starts at 10 a.m. did not get enough quorum to start as there were only 24 MPs. After three minutes, there were a total of 28 MPs in the House. On the 17th of October, the evening session was halted for a while since there was not enough quorum. In Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen’s Facebook post, it was noted that there were only one minister and deputy minister present at 10.10 a.m. After two minutes, “deputy ministers and MPs who were having coffee at the lounge rushed in. The government needs to buck up,” he said.

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Baling MP booted out of Dewan

23 October 2019 – Embattled Baling MP, Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahman was asked to leave the Dewan Rakyat after accusing house speaker, Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof of bias. He is believed to have made that allegation during a spat during yesterday’s sitting of Parliament. The speaker demanded him to retract his statement and the speaker proceeded to boot him out from the Dewan Rakyat. The speaker proceeded to suspend him for two days.  

‘Parliament allowance to be docked over absence’

23 October 2019 – Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, the Dewan Rakyat speaker, said that MPs will have their RM500 daily attendance allowance docked for every day they are absent from the Dewan Rakyat. However, he reiterates that currently there are no laws to do so. He felt that the attendance levels in the house should be better, especially amongst Ministers and Deputy Ministers. He said this to the Star Newspaper on 22 October 2019. These statements were in response to the halting of the Budget 2020 proceedings on 16 October 2019 as the quorum dropped below the minimum of 26 MPs.  This event triggered a slew of statements and commentaries by PH leaders on the duties and responsibilities of MPs to their electorate.

Special schedule for govt MPs to boost attendance

22 October 2019 – Liew Vui Keong, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said that a circular will be issued on 23 October 2019 to government MPs. The circular on rules and special schedule for attendance states that there will be attendance slot from 10am to 1pm, noon to 5.30pm and 5.30pm to 8pm. 

Parliament to adopt UK model in bridging gap between lawmakers and civil society

19 July 2019 Seeking to improve relations with critical civil society organisations (CSOs), Parliament has agreed in principle to register an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) as part of its function, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said today.

C4 – The Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Mohamad Arfif Md Yusof, has made positive changes within the administration of the Parliament as a whole. An example of which is the creation of the All-party Parliamentary Group (APPG) as part of the function of Parliament. This concept is borrowed from the UK system which sees the creation of an informal working group of MPs, Senators with grass-root societies/leaders to address policies like sustainable development and other related issues in the country. This is a positive move by the house to bring voices of marginalised communities that are currently underserved by the political parties centre-stage in the legislative body. 

Reintroduce and improve the Parliamentary Services Act 1963

Parliament’s autonomy will be restored after bill tabled in March – Nga

30 January 2020

Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming said that the Parliament Services Bill 2020 will be tabled in March where it will allow the legislature to be cut off from the Prime Minister’s Department; leading to a separation of powers as Parliament becomes an independent entity. In 2005, the Parliament Services Act 1963 is called to be reinstated by lawmakers.

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They must not be attached to any political parties

30 October 2019 

President of Dewan Negara also President of MIC.  

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Form a special committee to investigate complaints from Members of Parliament (MP)

No Updates

Grant the Leader of the Opposition with status and provisions equivalent to a Federal Minister

No Updates

Parliament sittings will take place at a minimum of 100 days per year

Parliamentary Calendar for 2019 

1st Session 2019: 11 March 2019 – 11 April 2019  

2nd Session 2019: 01 July 2019 – 18 July 2019

3rd Session 2019: 07 October 2019 – 05 December 2019

Total number of days parliament is session: 68 days

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Institutionalise the Select Committee system in Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara, complete with suitable provisions and support staff

17 October 2019
Law Minister Liew Vui Keong announces four new special select committees:

  1. Special Select Committee on Elections
  2. Special Select Committee on International Trade and Relations
  3. Special Select Committee on Human Rights and Constitutional Affairs
  4. Special Select Committee on Science, Innovation and Environment

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21 March 2019 – In the first session of Parliament in 2019 on 11 March sees a major shift in the separation of power from the executive and distributing it to MPs. This is seen in the establishment of six bipartisan Special Select Committees within parliament. These committees will look into: 

  1. Special Select Committee for Consideration of Bills
  2. Special Select Committee on Budget 
  3. Special Select Committee on Defense and Home Affairs
  4. Special Select Committee on Rights and Gender Equality 
  5. Special Select Committee on States and Federal Relations 
  6. Special Select Committee on Major Public Appointments.

Mohd Ariff, the speaker of the Dewan Rakyat said the establishment of these committees will institutionalized the democratic practice and used as a “Check and Balance” mechanism on the executive body.

Establish Dewan Rakyat Select Committee to monitor every Ministry, with the power to call Ministers and senior officials to testify

Relevant parliamentary committee to approve appointment of key national positions (including SUHAKAM, EC, MACC  and Judicial Appointments Commission)

11 October 2019 

The Special Select Committee on Major Public Appointments will first review the candidates of the newly formed National Anti-Financial Crime Centre (NAFCC) Director-General and Chairperson before any appointment is made.  

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18 July 2019 – The parliamentary select committee on major public service appointments is to determine the key appointments to four commissions. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today these are the chairmen and members of the Election Commission, Judicial Appointments Commission and Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) as well as the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

4 July 2019The government is devising a mechanism to shift the jurisdiction of major public service appointments from the executive to the legislative, de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong said today.

9 Jun 2019 – Leong said they would call for a meeting with Dr Mahathir to determine the committee’s functions, especially after a few major appointments – including the appointment of Latheefa as MACC chief, were made without their input.

11 June 2019The government will stick to the “old idea” of referring to the Prime Minister’s recommendation to appoint chiefs of key national bodies until Parliamentary Select Committees are able to take over the role legally, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

11 June 2019 – PELANTIKAN jawatan utama kerajaan akan dilakukan dengan cara lama buat ketika ini, kerana jawatankuasa pilihan khas Parlimen mengenainya memerlukan sokongan dua pertiga ahli dewan untuk berkuatkuasa sepenuhnya, kata Perdana Menteri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

12 June 2019 According to a report by The Edge, the PM told reporters after a meeting of the Economic Action Council on Tuesday (June 11) that he would use the “the old idea” of having the Prime Minister recommend key appointments since Parliamentary Select Committees were not legally functional yet.

11 June 2019 The prime minister will continue to decide on major public appointments, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday (Jun 11), despite Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) election promise that such appointments would go through a parliamentary committee.

21 March 2019 – Set up a Special Select Committee of Major Public Appointments

2 January 2019 – Advocate Asociation of Sarawak raises concern that 5 Judicial Appointments Commission members are appointed by the Prime Minister

Relevant parliamentary committee to monitor AG’s Chambers, MACC, Bank Negara, the Securities Commission, and the National Audit Department

Establish informal groups in Parliament (including Caucuses and All Party Parliamentary Groups) involving representatives of civil society

19 July 2019 – Seeking to improve relations with critical civil society organisations (CSOs), Parliament has agreed in principle to register an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) as part of its function, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said today. 

Introduce Green Papers to engage people and all stakeholders in the policy making process

​No updates​

Produce White Papers to announce major-government policies before a new Act is introduced in Parliament

Half an hour will be allocated for the PM’s Questions in the Dewan Rakyat, weekly basis

03 July 2019 

The Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQT), one of the pledges made by Pakatan Harapan (PH) in its election manifesto for the 14th general election, might see the light of day after all.

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24 June 2019The Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQT) in Parliament is currently not needed, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong.

11 May 2019 – The government intends to introduce Prime Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat, based on a similar practice in the British Parliament.

Empower the Dewan Negara to check and balance the Dewan Rakyat

No updates

Allocate specific time for specific agenda in Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara

Speaker Dato’ Mohd Arif introduced this at the 11 March – 11 April Parliamentary session.

Publish the full list of directorship held by MPs in state-owned enterprises (at federal or state levels, private companies or as a consultant, together with the emoluments receive)

No Updates