Ideas president: Institutional reforms can revamp policymaking

For better governance: Tunku Zain (centre) with (from left) G25 members Datuk Dr Narimah Awin, Mohd Sheriff and Datuk Seri Hishamudin Yunus at the book launch. — CHAN TAK KONG/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Institutional reforms can make a difference to how the country’s laws are made, says Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) founding president Tunku Zain Al-’Abidin Tuanku Muhriz.

He said among the examples of institutional reforms in place is the setting up of parliamentary select committees and the All-Party Parliament Group, which do three important things.

“First, they give backbench MPs a new and important role, which is to think for themselves about policy issues, which can translate into legislation.

“Second, they foster a culture of working across parties instead of being confrontational all the time.

“Third, they allow civil society organisations (CSO), academics and activists to be a part of the parliamentary process.

“It is, I think, one of the best examples of why institutional reforms can make a powerful difference to how our laws are made,” Tunku Zain said in his keynote address when launching G25’s latest book, G25 Statements (2014-2023) yesterday.

The book marks a milestone for the non-governmental organisation’s decade-long journey of advocacy and reform.

Tunku Zain said that the country needs “more of the right institutional reforms”.

“We need inspiring leadership to deliver it; people who look toward strengthening our institutions, even if it involves a loss of power on their part,” he said.

On G25’s book, he said: “They [G25] have helped shape public opinion and served as a moral compass for many caring Malaysians, especially on the principles of constitutional democracy, the rule of law, justice, and the universal values of basic freedoms.”

Tunku Zain said from his engagement with G25 through Ideas, he had learnt much about Malaysia’s history, the earlier generations of bureaucrats, policy- making, the handling of delicate diplomatic situations, and landmark legal cases.

The G25 Statements (2014-2023) book is a compilation of G25’s statements covering various issues ranging from law, the Federal Constitution, economy, human rights, governance, and health.

G25 is a CSO consisting of former high-ranking government officers who now actively champion aspects of moderation, including those related to religion.

In his speech, G25 co-founder Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim said the organisation has been playing a pivotal role as a voice for social and economic progress.

“Through various mediums, we have articulated our concerns and aspirations for the future of our beloved nation, one founded on the principles of constitutional democracy under justice and the rule of law.

“In the pages of our book, you will find reflections on 10 fundamental themes, each a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering positive change,” he said.

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Tunku Zain , G25 , Ideas


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