Azhar wants to empower Parliamentary Special Select Committee

KUALA LUMPUR: In conjunction with the 62nd anniversary of Parliament, the Dewan Rakyat Speaker wants the Parliamentary Special Select Committee to be empowered in view of its check and balance role.

According to Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (pic), the bipartisan committee discussed certain issues in depth without any politicking.

“I want to inculcate the practice of using Special Select Committee as I really believe the committee has an important function for check and balance as it comprises representatives from the government and the Opposition,” he said in the Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme aired on TV1 yesterday.

“The committee also has the power to call ministers and civil servants to answer questions and I feel this improvement is very significant for the Malaysian Parliament.”

Azhar said as Speaker, he has implemented several reforms in Parliament, which included allocating time equally and fairly to both government and opposition MPs to take part in debates.

On views that Parliament should be an independent body without the interference of any party, he likened the institution to playing the role of an independent judiciary.

“In fact, when I became the Speaker, we were never told or given directives by the Executive on what to do and what not to.

“It really depends on the MPs to debate on policies tabled in Parliament academically without emotion,” he said.

In preparation for the Dewan Rakyat meeting starting tomorrow, Azhar said various initiatives had been done to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infections.

These included the installation of ultraviolet air filters at the main hall of Parliament as well as the use of nano technology to kill bacteria and viruses.

With the installation of the mechanism, the level of ventilation in Parliament was on par with that of a hospital, he said.

On hybrid sitting, Azhar said a draft for the purpose has been brought to the House Sitting Committee.

If it is agreed, he hoped that at least the Special Select Committee meeting could be held online without the need for civil servants to be present. — Bernama

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