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No political incentive for lawmakers to serve on select committees, says Bandar Kuching MP

Publish date: Thu, 07 Jul 2022, 06:16 PM

PETALING JAYA, July 7 — Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the reluctance of most federal lawmakers to join parliamentary select committees (PSCs) was due to a lack of political incentives.

He said the MPs were often judged on how they served their constituents instead of participating in committees or doing policymaking work.

“Most MPs are seen by their voters as welfare officers or ATMs. Our effectiveness and ability to function are judged based on how much money we can dish out,” he told a forum by Bersih and Malaysian Bar Council today.

The forum titled “Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC): Scopes, memberships and Powers” discussed the powers and limitations of such panels.

On that subject, Dr Yii also suggested that Parliament’s Standing Order 83(4) be repealed in order to empower PSCs and ensure they could perform effectively.

Citing the example of Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki’s share purchase controversy, he said the relevant PSC could not summon him due to the particular rule.

“Standing Order 83(4) needs to be repealed as it is why the Select Committee failed to do their job and call out those who are called.

“We need to amend the standing orders but among others the elephant in the room is 83(4),” he said

According to Standing Order 83(4), PSCs were limited in scope to only matters referred to it by the House and subject to all the limitations that apply to the Dewan Rakyat.

In January, the committee attempted to summon Azam for a hearing following public outcry over his share ownership scandal. Azam was the head of the MACC investigations department during the material time.

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