Thursday, March 11, 2010

BN backbenchers need PR help to amend meet rules

It is becoming so clear now that these defectors from the Opposition who were induced by 'big money' are badly required by the ruling BN government to make Constitutional changes that will keep them in power. To make Constitutional charges the BN government needs 2/3 majority in Parliament. We need to keep denying them of this.

The Barisan Nasional Back Benchers Club (BNBBC) has completed a study of amendments to the Dewan Rakyat meeting rules, and is hoping to get support from Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers to implement changes.

BNBBC deputy chairman Datuk Bung Moktar Radin said the amendments on quorums and voting by division need a two-thirds majority to be implemented, adding he hoped to have informal discussions with the opposition bench after Parliament resumes next Monday.

“We have proposed just a few amendments, I hope the opposition will support us to amend the Meeting Rules,” the Kinabatangan MP told The Malaysian Insider, stressing the need for a two-thirds majority approval.

Barisan Nasional (BN) lost its customary two-thirds majority in Election 2008 and now has 137 lawmakers in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat — 11 shy of the key majority. The Pakatan Rakyat has 78, while there are seven in the Independents bench.

Bung Mokhtar was confident of getting support from the MPs although he had yet to reveal the proposed amendments to the opposition.

“We might meet them outside the Dewan first to exchange views before bringing it up to the Dewan Rakyat,” he said, adding the informal meeting was a step before presenting the matter to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

The BNBBC is proposing to abolish the quorum of 26 in the Dewan Rakyat after the ruling coalition nearly lost the vote to approve the Budget 2010 last December, the first time in the parliament’s five-decade history. The quorum has not changed since Parliament started in 1959.

It also wants to abolish voting by division or a show of hands.

“For voting by division, we propose that there is a provision for an advance notice as done by other countries,” Bung Mokhtar said, adding the current practise allowed voting to be called anytime when there are at least 15 MPs in the House.

He told The Malaysian Insider last month that the BNBBC felt both aspects have been “abused” by the opposition to delay proceedings when approving Bills.

The BNBBC formed a committee to review the matter and have consulted several lawyers to look into best practices for parliamentary proceedings. It was also looking at the procedure for tabling motions, as the Speaker now has the power to reject any applications if another had been submitted earlier.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

1 comment:

Chauncey Gardener said...

Isn't the role of the MPs to debate and pass laws in the Dewan Rakyat ?

Now the BBC wants to do it in absentia ?