Parliament Needs to Vote on National Recovery Plan and Amend The Standing Orders to Allow Virtual or Hybrid Parliamentary Committees Meetings

  1. We, the undersigned civil society groups, proposed that this Parliamentary sitting should table and approve a motion for the House Committee and the Standing Orders Committee to review, then propose amendments to the provisions of the Standing Orders to allow all Parliamentary Committees meetings to be conducted virtually or hybridly. The process of amending the Standing Orders also needs to be done in an engaging manner with all stakeholders in a transparent and inclusive manner.
  2. This amendment is to ensure that all Parliamentary Committees are able to function fully without the constraints of the Standing Orders during the current and future dangerous threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will facilitate all Members of Parliament (MP) and staff of Parliament, especially from Sabah and Sarawak, to continue to carry out their responsibilities in Parliamentary Committees.
  3. As in our previous demand, we request that the National Recovery Plan (NRP) not only be tabled by the Prime Minister, but given the widest space for debate and voting to all MPs. This is so that all MPs can give suggestions and criticisms to improve the recovery plan in finding the best solution to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Agreement on NRP with strong support from all MPs through the voting process is very important because the control of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery requires support from all parties for it to succeed.
  4. The approval of the NRP by voting by all MPs is crucial so that the Perikatan Nasional Government, especially the Prime Minister, takes a more serious and responsible effort on the debate and proposal of all MPs. Therefore, the Prime Minister must remain in the chamber of Parliament to answer questions and listen to suggestions from MPs and not disappear after making a presentation like yesterday. In a parliamentary democracy, a Prime Minister has to be accountable to Parliament. We urge the Prime Minister as the head of the government to respect the institution of Parliament and at the same time adopt the principle of accountability to Parliament. The Prime Minister and other ministers must remain in Parliament to answer various questions that will be raised over the next three days.

This statement is initiated by the Seed Community for a Professional Parliament, a network of individuals active in civil society organisations, think tanks and academia working towards a professional Parliament that facilitates healthy policy competition between parties.

Signed by:

  1. Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0)
  3. Institute for Political Reform and Democracy (REFORM)
  4. Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)
  5. Persatuan Pengundi Muda (UNDI18)
  6. Bait Al-Amanah