Make Mps Actually Work For Their Money Shahrir


 



Wonder why some MPs have side gigs in government-linked companies (GLCs)? The answer is they have too much time, said former six-term Johor Bahru MP Shahrir Abdul Samad.
One solution to this, he said, is to make them do actual work as the people's representatives and legislators.
"For us to expect the (return of) Parliamentary Services Act (PSA) to be able to turn MPs into useful creatures, is just hoping for something that is not going to happen.
"I don't think it's about the PSA. It's about the way MPs work.
"That's why from the government side, backbenchers have so much time they can be the chairperson of GLCs and so on. Because they don't work enough," Shahrir (above) told a forum in Petaling Jaya today.
The former BN Backbenchers Club chairperson was one of three panellists at a discussion session titled 'Parliamentary Services Act: Benefits for the Public?'.
It was part of a two-day programme organised by electoral reform group Bersih and the Bar Council.
Shahrir believed that MPs and ministers today are "well paid", and they should be made to work hard for the people.
He said all MPs should be involved in committee-level discussions before a bill is tabled in Parliament, rather than only speaking "for sound bites" during the second reading.
"We have to change the way Parliament works. Let's cut the sound and thunder in the second reading, where everybody talks about policy, but the real work is during the discussion at the committee stage.
"Are we ready as MPs to sit and discuss the final details?
"Then you will have an effective Parliament and effective MPs who know their stuff. That's how it benefits the public," Shahrir stressed.
Extend days in session
In a separate discussion, former Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said the House should be in session for at least 150 days a year.
Ex-Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff YusoffHe emphasised that MPs must understand that their duties are not only to serve their constituents but also to serve as legislators.
"We need to have Dewan Rakyat sitting for at least 150 days. It can be done. (When we) sit for 70 days, what can you do?
"I know that MPs have work to be done. You have to work at your constituencies. But you are also legislators," he added.
Ariff was speaking at a session titled 'Speaker, Deputy Speakers and Standing Orders: Key reforms for an independent and functioning Parliament’.
Improving PSC
Earlier today, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii called for the government to suspend Parliament Standing Order 83(4) which limits Parliament Special Select Committees (PSC) to only deliberate on matters that are referred to them by the House.
He said the order incapacitates the role of PSC as they can only function if a subject matter is referred to the committee by the House.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii"This is contrary to the spirit of the commission of the PSC and best practices in other countries.
"Basically, if a minister wants to avoid a controversial topic, they just don't refer it to the House. We are not allowed to carry out this issue.
"If we do not address this standing order, it will handicap the functions of the PSC further," he added.
Speaking at a forum that discussed the scopes and powers of the PSC, Yii stated that the Parliamentary Standing Order should instead compel the government to support and adopt recommendations made by a PSC.
"This is one of the things to make us effective and to give a whole new meaning to the functions of the PSC, and give a reason for the MPs to show up for the meetings." - Mkini


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