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Published: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 10:19:08 AM

Dewan Rakyat concludes after key issues hammered out before year’s end

THE Dewan Rakyat marked the end of 27 days of long-drawn debates with lawmakers hammering out several key issues in time for the end of the year break.

On Monday, lawmakers and the nation came to know that cost of electricity would go up by an average of 15% following the Govern­ment’s subsidy rationalisation exercise of gas (excluding Sara­wak).

The much anticipated announcement by Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili saw Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers debate the tariff increase fervently.

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad expressed concern over the impact on small-and-medium-sized enterprises.

Dr Ko Chung Sen (DAP-Kampar) said although 70% of consumers would not be affected by the rise in electricity rates, they would still have to bear the cost of rising inflation.

(70% of households in the peninsula and 60% of those in Sabah and Labuan would not feel the pinch from the tariff increase as they use 300kWh and below per month.)

The motion for the Government to officially take over the controversial Automated Enforcement System (AES) also sparked fierce debate with Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) urging the Government to disclose details of the takeover bid.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan revealed that the ministry via AES Solution Sdn Bhd would assume control of the privatised system.

Although justifying the system’s effectiveness in reducing road accidents and the Government’s willingness to resume control of the AES, Ahmad Maslan said details of the take-over bid were classified and would not be exposed.

(Fatal accidents at the 14 areas where cameras were installed were reduced by 36.8% within eight months while speeding dropped by 70%).

The withdrawal of six Bills, in particular the Criminal Procedure Code and Evidence Act, on Wednesday by the Government came as a welcome surprise to lawmakers.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri, who is in charge of law, said the Bills were withdrawn to allow fine-tuning following feedback from various quarters of civil society, lawmakers and lawyers.

Her announcement was greeted well by Barisan and Pakatan MPs as it would accord them more time to debate the issue when tabled again at the next sitting.

Fuziah Salleh’s (PKR-Kuantan) passionate plea to allow an emergency motion to debate the fate of flood victims in her constituency drew flak from Datuk Bung Mohktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan).

The outspoken Sabah MP chided Fuziah for being in the Dewan, saying she should be on the ground helping the flood victims.

With the RM46.5bil Budget 2014 passed, the Dewan adjourned sine die to a date yet to be fixed early next year.

Tags / Keywords: Government, 13th Parliament, Dewan Rakyat, Speaker


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