KUALA LUMPUR: Speakers of state assemblies and Parliament have to properly manage the public’s perception and the politicking between ruling and opposition coalitions, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“They have to prove the effectiveness of legislative assemblies and ensure the laws passed are of a high quality,” said Najib.
He said the level of debate in Parliament and the fact its members were willing to amend Bills brought before them showed Parliament was not just a symbolic process.
“As a member of the executive, I have never thought of Parliament as just a rubber stamp.
“In fact, I appreciate the quality of debates, including proposals brought up by Members of Parliament during debates,” said Najib when opening the conference for Parliament and state assembly speakers here yesterday.
He said to formulate the best laws, members of the legislature were given the opportunity to debate and give proposals on Bills tabled by the Government which proved Parliament was not merely to pass laws put up by the executive.
“While laws are introduced by the executive, the legislature could also give their views and proposals and sometimes, the proposals are accepted and made into amendments into the Bill for debate.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, who was also at the function, said the last sitting broke record, being the longest ever as it ended at 4.21am.
“I’ve seen for myself the Dewan Rakyat members’ dedication in arguing for the rakyat’s interest,” said Pandikar.
Several controversial laws such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act and an amendment to the Sedition Act were passed after 2am, following more than 10 hours of debate each.
He added that the Dewan played an essential role as a check and balance for the legal system.