Damian S. L. Yeo & L. C. Goh (DSLY)
No. 2007, Lorong Sidang Omar, off Jalan Penghulu Abbas, Bukit Baru, Hang Tuah Jaya, 75100 Melaka

Tel : 06-2347011
& 06-2347012
Fax: 06-2347022


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Parliament in Shambles? We have been fooled

Figuratively or literally? Politically or in real? My answers to all these questions are two folds. First, the mentality of First World Parliament amongst Parliamentarian have not reach even a desired position. After watching some clips in, it is a shame that Malaysian members of Parliament today can’t even know how to debate properly. Let alone I doubt for their understanding to debate legal and constitutional matters for every bill that pass through this legal filter. Parliamentary debate is a must to see that all areas of a particular Bill is modified and amended to manifest the intention of the Rakyat. Secondly, the bloody leak after the high cost of renovation and rebranding our Parliament. I have no problems with the money spend i.e. RM90 million but please let it last for another 100 years.

Parliament in Malaysia beside the Constitution is the highest law making process in the country. All laws governed any and every area is debated in this place. We were told in law school there is a tacit understanding that regardless of whether the passage of the Bill is tainted with illegality or duress, so long as the Bill is passed through the legal filters i.e. Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara and upon the DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agung’s assent then that Bill will be law. This function was borrowed from the Westminister style of legislative practice.

Name calling in Parliament is a norm, but what amount to unparliamentary language or gestures is depending on how the interpretation by the House Speaker on the relevant clauses in the Standing Orders. Unfortunately in Malaysia due to the 90% plus majority the Barisan National gets during the 2004 general election, the Barisan National backbenchers alone will be able to arm twist the minority His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition charged by the DAP. And due to the minority voice, they have to literally shout and scream just to catch the attention of the Speaker who hails from the government BN.

Sad but real our parliamentary committees that was established after a long time, have even gone astray. This led to the recent troubles and exchanges between the person in charge of Parliament affair, Datuk Seri Nazri and Parliamentary Committee Chairman for Integrity Tan Sri Bernard Dompok on the role and power of such Committee. For a more proactive and able Committee, they should be given powers to call for papers, questions individuals, call witnesses and even probably propose prosecution, then Malaysians will see a true and viable Parliament that for a long time is unheard. Unfortunately Dompok resign honourably saying he find it hard to act as he is also a member of the cabinet. Thus infringe his sense of responsibility towards the people.

Some of us will remember that Karpal Singh an opposition MP was send to the Privilege Committee and was literally sentence for misleading Parliament, a claim by the Opposition that what Karpal did was quoting a wrong law which he later realize the mistake, corrected it. But sending him to the privilege Committee is so unfair, what about the other Ministers such as dear Rafidah, Nazri and Samy Vellu and Parliamentarian such as Bung Mokhtar and Datuk Said who have misled and lied got off without even a warning and was vindicated by the thumping majority of the Barisan backbenchers denying justice in Parliament. But if the charge is upon the Opposition, then it will be a adious amigos to him and not only that a suspension would mean living without salary for six months. That happened in the likes of Fong and Karpal. Unfortunate, believe it. It only happened to Malaysia.

Recently, Malaysia gets angrier for yet another fiasco, the leakage in Parliament. We were told that Parliament was renovated for the cost of RM90 million. I have no problems with that UNTIL you hear leakage, roofing problem and now wiring problem to the highest law chamber of the country which according to our friend Samy, a major renovation has to be done. Today Star he says,

“Absence of maintenance and wear and tear were among the reasons for the leaking roof at Parliament House.

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the waterproofing material used when the building was constructed had worn off after 44 years, resulting in water seeping through the roof.

The waterproofing was also installed without any protective layers, he added.

He said the reasons were cited in an inspection report by the Kuala Lumpur Public Works Department's (PWD) maintenance division on May 10.

Samy Vellu said the department's report revealed:

· CRACKS and water seepage on the concrete roof;

· SEEPAGE through the rain gutter surface edge;

· CLOGGED gutters which caused water retention;

· WATERPROOFING on the roof was not working and had been used beyond its lifespan;

· WATERPROOFING was installed on the concrete surface without any protective layer;

· CLOGGED drainage pipes;

· SEWERAGE pipe leaks at VIP and other toilets;

· DAMAGED expansion joints; and

· THE absence of maintenance work.”

There is an interesting article in the Star too on the issue. Let’s see

“Refuting claims made by Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad that the PWD was responsible for maintaining the building, Samy Vellu said:

“Maintenance of the building has all along been under the Parliament itself, not the PWD. And when there are others carrying out maintenance, we cannot interfere. As Parliament is independent, we cannot order them around.”

See what the Deputy Prime Minister says,

“The Deputy Prime Minister added that the Public Works Department (PWD) would also be asked to explain how and why the leak occurred.

In expressing his regret over the water leakages in the building, Najib said the repairs should have been included in the original renovation budget.

He said that when the allocation report for the major facelift work for the Parliament building was submitted to the Government earlier, no request was made to carry out roof repair work at that time. “

Hmmm, there is a contradiction, is the PWD answerable?

I think Malaysians are very confused NOW and that is how we are fooled

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