Parliament to be free of the yoke of PM's Dept after reforms

KUALA LUMPUR: If all goes well, parliamentary reforms will see the post of minister in charge of Parliament being done away with next year.

This is among the key changes proposed under the Commission of Parliamentary Services Bill 2019 to be tabled in Dewan Rakyat early next year.

“We hope to table the new Act in the next sitting to make Parliament a totally independent body and to restore the autonomy of the legislative in line with the doctrine of the separation of powers,” Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming told reporters in Parliament on Wednesday (Oct 24).

Nga said currently Parliament was in a way “subservient” to the executive as it is placed under the Prime Minister’s Department.

“That is why you have Datuk Liew Vui Keong and, formerly, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, as minister in charge of parliamentary affairs.

“There will no minister in charge of parliamentary affairs (once the reform goes through) as the Speaker will be head of the House,” Nga said.

He added that Parliament would have it own budget to manage under the proposed law.

“Parliament will have its own budget. All expenses will be paid by Parliament,” he said, adding that this included MPs’ salaries and allowances.

He said that the allocation of a budget would also allow for the setting up of special select committees supported by at least a staff of 10.

At present, Nga said only the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was given support staff.

The proposed parliamentray reforms are line with Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto.
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