Parliamentary reforms caucus to study Standing Order proposals from Bersih

The Caucus for Multi-party Democracy which focuses on parliamentary reforms has committed to studying several proposals outlined in a report commissioned by electoral reforms group Bersih.

The five proposals, written by parliamentary expert Maha Balakrishnan, seek to amend Parliament’s Standing Orders.

The proposals include:

  • Management of motions of confidence and no confidence.
  • Control of parliamentary time and agenda by reducing government control over the parliamentary calendar, recognising the will of the parliamentary majority, and improving certainty and consistency to complete the business of the House
  • Improving opportunity structures for private member’s business (PMB) by creating specific weekly slots for PMB, ensuring fair and equitable disposal of business during private member’s time, reducing restrictions on Private Member’s motions, and simplifying the PMB process and detaching it from government control.
  • Enabling the public to petition Parliament by overhauling the parliamentary petitions process in the Dewan Rakyat, setting up both paper and e-petition systems, establishing an obligatory response mechanism, and establishing a new standing Petitions Committee.
  • Improving the ability of parliamentary committees to operate independently to set their agenda, on holding their hearings, and on publishing report.

The caucus revealed this after launching the Bersih report titled “Unlocking the Power of the Dewan Rakyat: The Rule Revisions Needed Now” in Parliament today.

“The caucus will be closely studying the proposals made by Bersih in this report and where there is consensus among our members, we will seek to engage with the Standing Orders Committee, the House Committee, the Speaker’s Office, and other heads of Select Committees, for the implementation of some of these proposals,” they said in a statement.

Reforming the Standing Orders is part of Putrajaya’s memorandum of understanding with Pakatan Harapan but remains unfulfilled.

The caucus urged the government and the Dewan Rakyat to hasten the process before Parliament is dissolved.

The caucus is co-led by Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) and Maria Chin Abdullah (Pakatan Harapan-Petaling Jaya).

Other caucus members are Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (Harapan-Kulim-Bandar Baharu), Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (Harapan-Hulu Langat), Dr Xavier Jayakumar (Independent-Kuala Langat), Anthony Loke (Harapan-Seremban), Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof (Perikatan Nasional-Alor Gajah), Wong Shu Qi (Harapan-Kluang), Madius Tangau (Harapan-Tuaran), Darell Leiking (Warisan-Penampang), Larry Sng (PBM-Julau) and Baru Bian (PSB-Selangau).


First published by Malaysiakini on 3 August 2022: