Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wakil Rakyat should have freedom of speech in State Assemblies...

This is absurd that a ADUN/MP is required to stick to the prepared text - and not have the freedom of expression...

Of course, if it were with regard a question that is to be answered by the Minister or State Exco - one should maybe not deviate into some other question - but surely if in their preamble and other matters leading to their question, they should have the freedom to add-on, take-out, or even raise more facts - there should be no requirement that one should ONLY follow the prepared text - after all this is not a written question - but an oral question. There must always be freedom of expression in Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies...

Johor DAP chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau was publicly reprimanded in the Johor state assembly here for not following his prepared speech.

Speaker Datuk Ali Hassan had to repeatedly remind Dr Boo to not “go off topic” while reading his speech.

“You must follow your prepared text. You must respect the state assembly rules, which clearly state that the speech must follow the prepared text,” Ali told Dr Boo during the state assembly meeting here yesterday.

Dr Boo, who initially would not back down, said such action was undemocratic.

During the exchanges Ali asked Dr Boo to sit down then told him that as an educated man he should know better; he should respect the state assembly and follow the rules.

“Please do not cause further commotion and make this issue bigger than it really is.

“The text must be followed,” Ali said, granting Dr Boo extra time to speak.

Dr Boo was commenting on the huge debts accumulated by the Johor Government. - Star, 10/9/2008 - Speaker raps DAP’s Boo

And for the sake of fairness, the rest of the said report is as follows. It highlights how Johor BN government all the way owes the Federal Government about RM841 million...

State governments must learn to survive with what they have and make, and with what they are allocated annually from the Federal government - especially a rich State like Johor.

An accumulation of such an high debt is unacceptable - and mind you when Pakatan Rakyat takes over the Johor government , they too will end up burdened with these large debts...

Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said in his reply that the state government owed the Federal Government some RM841mil, with RM689mil due to debts accumulated through government agencies such as Syarikat Air Johor Holdings (SAJH).

“The debts from the government agencies had been transferred into the form of grants, which were mostly used to fund projects to supply water to rural areas.

“The amount will be deducted from the grants allocated to the state government annually,” he added.- Star, 10/9/2008 - Speaker raps DAP’s Boo

Johor State Government owes the Federal Government about RM841 million - and who else does it owe? What really is the total debt of the Johor State Government?

What really is the total debt of all State Governments - I believe that all State Governments need to be more transparent and accountable.

Their annual accounts must be shown to the people . It should be available on their website.

The minutes of the State Assembly Proceedings must be available on the website.

In fact, decisions made by the State Exco must also be available on the website - especially those policy decisions.

The State Governments, and the Federal Government, in an ICT age must use the internet and their own official websites to communicate with its people.

In Thailand, there are such thing called Cabinet Resolutions - and it made known to the public - and it is also something that the people can rely on to claim rights. In Malaysia, we do not have such things - and it is difficult for the people to know what is the policy and/or decision of the government on matters - all we have is news reports and that is so unreliable. We need to have definite pronouncements of policy and decisions by governments - at all levels - Federal, State and even at the Local Government levels.


Sans said...

Interesting piece, I hope you don't mind if I linked to the article and added you to my blog list


Nostradamus said...

A Malaysian Time Clock Slowly Clicking towards 16 September!

Tick, Tock! Tick, Tock! Tick Tock!

Inbetween, spare parts and batteries still insufficient in case it stop.

Some try to move it faster by 15 minutes, some by 30 minutes.

Nobody thought of moving it backwards. I wonder Why?

continue at