Parliament a theatre and nothing more, says MP

PETALING JAYA: Without a committee system capable of working out the fine details of issues, the Parliamentary system as it stands today is a theatre and nothing more, said DAP MP Liew Chin Tong today.

The Kluang MP spoke at length about his proposed reforms for the current parliamentary system at a forum held in Sunway University entitled ‘The Malaysian Parliament: Reforms and Barriers’.

The two other speakers at the event were former law minister Zaid Ibrahim and Gerakan political secretary Ivanpal Grewal.

“Parliament is now a theatre partly because, as pointed out by Datuk Zaid, there is no system of committees,” said Liew.

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“We don’t have a committee system. The Parliament works in such a way that if you speak and shout the loudest, you get recorded. You have a limited time (to speak),” he pointed out.

“If Kinabatangan (MP Bung Mokhtar Radin) shouts loudly enough, you will hear him. And for people like me who are interested in the details and not in shouting, you get nowhere.”

Liew said that although any parliament was by default a theatre where one needed to dramatise national crises and choices, there was also the need for select departmental and ministerial committees to work out compromises.

“I’m not saying that theatre is terrible. But theatre cannot be the only thing we have. We cannot have the Chamber alone and nothing else,” said Liew.

“Parliament has to be a place where we work out compromises. We have to recognise that we need to find compromises and reconcile the future with the past.”