KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 18): Dewan Negara announced that it will form a Reform Working Committee to study various aspects of the institutions that require improvement.
Speaking at a roundtable meeting with Dewan Negara's senators today, Speaker Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran said to ensure that the Legislature is able to implement its functions as an institution that approves policies, and checks and balances on the executives' function, a strong mechanism in terms of structure and its members have to be evaluated in order to be consistent with current developments and needs in safeguarding the interests of the people and the nation's development.
"In line with the Government's manifesto to restore the authority of the Parliament institution, initiatives and mechanisms need to be established to ensure that the reform process can be implemented comprehensively and effectively.
"Parliamentary reforms that include the Senate and the House of Representatives will make Parliament more effective and efficient in carrying out the checks and balances and ensuring that the Government is responsible for the people," he said.
The committee will be chaired by senator Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff, together with 13 other senators: Datuk Seri Khairuddin Samad, Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker, Datuk Theodore Douglas Lind, Datuk Paul Igai, Datuk Fahariyah Md Nordin, Datuk Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah, Datuk Dr Ananthan Somasundaram, Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin, Khairul Aswan Harun, Nga Hock Cheh, Ismail Yusof, Asmak Husin, and Andrian Banie Lasimbang.
Speaking at a press conference, Mohd Yusmadi said the committee will look into four areas as a start, which are empowering Dewan Negara and its senators, bringing back the Parliamentary Service Act 1963, improving the Senate's structure that covers senator's term, composition and other aspects, and creating more awareness among the public about the role of Dewan Negara.
Mohd Yusmadi said the committee targets to come up with a report in March this year, to be submitted to the Law Minister Liew Vui Keong.