Malaysiakini News

Ringing the changes in the new Parliament

Phlip Rodrigues  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | When Parliament starts its session on July 16, it must reflect the new spirit and enthusiasm of the Pakatan Harapan government. The political landscape has changed drastically after the traumatic and dramatic 14th general election, and this wind of change must also sweep through the halls of the Dewan Rakyat.

The previous Parliament had been cowed and moulded according to the dictates of the government of that day. Instead of being an arena for healthy debates and vigorous examination of government policies, it became the compliant mouthpiece of the executive branch.

Under the regime of ousted prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, the Dewan Rakyat sat through its boring sessions with just one mission – to defend the government mindlessly, blindly and irrationally. The opposition was a voice in the wilderness.

Now the dynamics have changed, and what the people want to see is their elected representatives debating policies and new laws with courage, brilliance and passion. Sparks must fly when the conduct of the government comes under intense scrutiny.

Parliament is where laws are made and every proposed legislation must pass through the furnace of heated debate conducted with decorum, intelligence and composure. It must never be the place for the foul-mouthed, ill-tempered and the twisted of mind.

More importantly, the Dewan Rakyat is where the truth must be told. It is the only place where the government can be pulled up and hauled over the coals for any wrongdoing. It is the one platform for the elected representatives to drill ministers and even the prime minister on any matter of public interest...

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