Reps send memo on interference in 'Malacca Official 1' issue
Published:  Sep 1, 2016 10:51 AM
Updated: Sep 2, 2016 4:06 AM

The Malacca state opposition has formally handed over a memorandum of protest to the state legislature, after it stopped giving out copies of the written answers to oral questions to opposition state assemblypersons.

Opposition leader Khoo Poay Tiong said that he was giving Speaker Wira Othman Muhamad seven days to resolve the matter, or he would take more drastic action, without specifying what he had in mind.

The Ayer Keroh assemblyperson criticised the move, saying it smacked of the assembly sidelining parliamentary democracy, as well as insulting democracy.

"It is clear that the rakyat's right to information has been denied. This is unfair and unjustified. Opposition assemblypersons are also representatives of the rakyat to hold the government to account on its policies and solutions to problems in the state.

"The government should give an explanation and be accountable to all questions," Khoo said at a press conference today.

He also reminded the speaker that the legislature, as an independent democratic institution, should not be allowed to fall under the influence of the executive or the judiciary.

Khoo said that in previous sittings, the state assembly would make available copies of the written answers to oral questions, but it did not do so for the June sitting.

He worried that the lack of written answers to the oral questions was a sign of interference in the legislature by an unscrupulous party, whom he termed as the not so hidden hand of "Malacca Official 1".

Khoo said such interference, if true, could mean that the state legislature has been turned into a rubber stamp, sans independence, allowing the abuse of human rights and civil liberties.

Also present at the press conference were Bandar Hilir assemblyperson Tey Kok Kiew and Kota Laksamana DUN chief coordinator Low Chee Leong.

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