Key Parliamentary changes in the works

24 Oct 2018 / 18:10 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The role of the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of parliamentary affairs will no longer be needed once parliamentary reforms take place.
Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming said this would be among the changes under the proposed Commission of Parliamentary Services Bill 2019, which aims to restore Parliament's autonomy, expected to be tabled in the next Dewan Rakyat sitting next year.
He also said that the reforms would see that, among others, Parliament having its own budget and managing its own expenditure, including remunerations for staff and members of parliament.
"(Under the new law) Parliament will no longer be subservient to the Prime Minister's Department as is the practice now. It will be a supreme and independent body," he told reporters after attending an event at the Parliament building here today.
The proposed legislation would also make the Dewan Rakyat Speaker as the head of the institution, hence eliminating the the role of the minister in charge of parliamentary matters.
The move would effectively reinforce its status as an independent body that is free from interference by the executive.
Nga said the bill was now being drafted by the Attorney-General's Chambers.
"We hope to table the new Act in the next sitting, may be in March or April, to restore and make Parliament a totally independent body in line with the principles of the separation of powers," he said.
Nga said more select committees were also expected to be set up under the proposed legislation to carry out reforms.
When tabling the 11th Malaysia Plan's Mid-Term Review last week, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that the government would revive the Parliament Services Act 1963 which was repealed in 1992. — Bernama

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