Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ku Li: We go to Parliament representing the people not Umno

Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Ku Li) has called for a review of the federal and state relations, in order to keep up with recent developments.

"I had suggested during a meeting with a Ruler 25 years ago, who incidently is still alive today, of the need for changes in (federal government and state) relations," he told a Bar Council forum here yesterday.

Tengku Razaleigh said other countries which adopted federalism such as Canada and Australia had made changes to their agreements.

"Because Barisan Nasional (BN) has been in countrol of the country for such a long time, controlling all the states except Kelantan, people have take things for granted... even elected representatives, like me, feel that I represent UMNO more than representing the advocacy," he said.

"That is wrong. In fact, we go to Parliament on behalf of the people, and therefore whatever views we put forward in Parliament must reflect the aspiration of those people who sent us to Parliament," said Ku Li.

Citing an example, he said when the Menteri Besars assemble with other leaders, they talk of their own political problems and not of state crimes or of issues which impinge on the rights of the people whom they're supposed to represent.

"By and by, people assumed that things are controlled by the centre, and there's where powers are concentrated because we have more and more 'yes men' around. This is a problem we have to correct, we cannot allow this to go on," he stressed.

The forum was coordinated by the Bar's Constitutional Law Committee as part of its ongoing MyConstitution campaign, launched last year. The campaign developed in phases aims to reach out to a wide spectrum of Malaysians with the basics the Federal Constitution.

Expert panelists at the forum spoke on issues relating to the supremacy of the Federal Constitution, the Separation of Powers and Federal-States relations. The forum also touched on the teh roles of the legislature, judiciary, executive, rakyat and fundamental liberties such as elections and democrary, and Sabah and Sarawak states.

The Committee today also announced another forum titled "Oil Royalty: A Constitutional Right?", to be held on March 20 at level 1 of the Bar Council Auditorium in Kuala Lumpur.

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