Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kit Siang spells out Pakatan’s Parliamentary reforms to take Putrajaya

Kit Siang spells out Pakatan’s Parliamentary reforms to take Putrajaya

March 17, 2013
Malaysian Insider 
KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 —  Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will decentralise power to return the spirit of Malaysia’s constitution, the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang proposed today, in his bid for the opposition bloc to take Putrajaya in Election 2013.
The opposition party’s parliamentary leader spelled out a seven-step formula he said would roll back five decades of the current concentration of power in the hands of the executive, one of the three branches of government Lim said has turned Parliament into a subordinate institution and weakened the basic concept of democracy.

“The centralisation power in the hands of the Executive has enabled the emergence of an authoritarian system of government,” he said in a statement today.

To restore Parliament’s supremacy, Lim said the PR pact will appoint an independent Dewan Rakyat speaker who is not beholden to the executive government, and will revise the current standing orders for the lawmaking house to level the existing lopsided playing field for the two parties to play their respective roles.
The Ipoh Timor MP also said Bills for legislation would be handed out two weeks ahead of their tabling and select parliamentary committees will be set up to enable the lawmakers more time to study and get public feedback on the proposed laws.

There would also be no more provisions to empower ministers under a PR regime, he pledged, in keeping with the concept of separation of powers.

He said current practices “have the effect of placing Ministers and in effect the ‘Little Napoleons’ above the law and their actions beyond judicial review.

“This leads to abuse of due processes and enables the Executive branch to amass huge powers and avoid accountability,” Lim (picture) said.

He added that PR will review all existing laws carrying that provision.

Lim also promised to replace the contentious Official Secrets Act with a Freedom of Information Act — which has already been passed as law in some PR-led states, such as Selangor — to create a transparent and accountable government system.

The PR regime would also appoint ombudsman and form a Constitutional Court to settle legal disputes that conflict with the country’s supreme laws, he said. 

He said the steps would bolster democracy and prevent abuse associated with an authoritarian rule.

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