KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Nga Kor Ming should be allowed to be part of the government’s special committee studying how to hold a hybrid Parliament, as a representative for opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH), DAP’s Lim Guan Eng said today.
Lim, who is Bagan MP, reiterated DAP’s warning that the study of the hybrid Parliament — or holding Parliament sittings through a combination of both physical and virtual attendance — should not mutate into a “rubber stamp” Parliament by excluding input from opposition MPs in the study.
Looking at the composition of the government’s special committee on hybrid Parliament as reported, Lim noted that it does not include the Opposition Leader or his representative and that it also does not include the Parliament Standing Order Committee that would be able to determine any changes to the standing orders.
The special committee on hybrid Parliament reportedly consists of Dewan Negara president and deputy president, Dewan Rakyat speaker and both deputy speakers, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, and the Parliament chief administrator.
“Together with Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim, I had engaged with the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun emphasising that Opposition MPs are as much part of the legislative branch of the Federal Constitution as government MPs.
“The exclusion of Opposition representation from the Hybrid Parliament Special Committee on the shape, procedures and format of the hybrid Parliament is a dangerous precedent that violates not only Parliamentary convention but is also an abuse of power that erodes the fundamental basis of Parliament as a fountain of democracy,” Lim said in a statement.
Proposing Teluk Intan MP Nga as PH’s representative in the special committee on hybrid Parliament, Lim noted he had on June 9 already written to Azhar to stress the key role of opposition MPs in ensuring a functioning Parliament as a check and balance on government through legislative scrutiny and government oversight.
“PH is still awaiting a response from Azhar,” he said.
Lim also alleged that there was inaction on the Perikatan Nasional government’s proposal for a hybrid Parliament, and questioned if this indicated a bid to delay Parliament from reconvening as soon as possible.
Along with his press statement, Lim had attached his June 9 letter to Azhar, where he had urged for the Dewan Rakyat speaker to seek for the government to vaccinate 380 Parliament staff immediately.
In the same letter to Azhar, Lim had stressed the importance of including representatives from all parties such as opposition MPs and Parliament’s Standing Order Committee in the special committee studying and discussing the hybrid Parliament model.
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