MPs from both sides form caucus to explore Parliamentary reforms

KUALA LUMPUR: Twelve members of Parliament from both sides of the political divide have formed a caucus with the aim to explore Parliamentary reforms.

The Parliamentary Caucus for Multi-Party Democracy, co-convened by Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Barisan Nasional-Pengerang) and Maria Chin Abdullah (Pakatan Harapan-Petaling Jaya), is aimed at encouraging dialogues and cross-party participation on institutional reforms in the Dewan Rakyat.

“This caucus is essential to foster and drive healthy and productive multi-party competition to enhance the democratic atmosphere in Malaysia,” they said in a statement today.

As a first step, the members would explore and pursue matters such as the revision of the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders to improve Parliamentary operations by introducing “non-governmental business time” and facilitating the adoption of private members’ bills and digitisation of Parliamentary processes.

The caucus would also look into the empowerment of the Parliamentary Select Committees, as well as holding discussions or hearings with stakeholders on the agenda of empowering Parliament and strengthening democracy.

“Additionally, we are concerned about the gender imbalance in the leadership of Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara as we see the importance of having Deputy Speakers/Deputy Presidents at both Houses that reflect diversity in terms of gender, region, and partisanship.

“We, as members of the caucus, wish to see this platform to benefit optimally all quarters to empower members of Parliaments, especially government backbenchers and members of the opposition, as national lawmakers and policymakers, and to make our Parliament truly professional and world-class,” they added.

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) would serve as the secretariat of the caucus.

The full list of caucus members are:

– Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang)

– Maria Chin Abdullah (PH-Petaling Jaya)

– Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PH-Kulim Bandar Baru)

– Datuk Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (PH-Hulu Langat)

– Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar (Independent-Kuala Langat)

– Anthony Loke Siew Fook (PH-Seremban)

– Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof (Bersatu-Alor Gajah)

– Wong Shu Qi (PH-Kluang)

– Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (PH-Tuaran)

– Datuk Darell Leiking (Warisan-Penampang)

– Larry Sng (Party Bangsa Malaysia-Julau)

– Baru Bian (Parti Sarawak Bersatu-Selangau)

First published by The New Straits Times on 20 July 2022: