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Experts: Parliament needs transformations

The move by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to undertake parliamentary and administrative reforms can overhaul the nation's democratic system.

These changes should also include an anti-party hopping law, said Gabungan Parti Sarawak's Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman yesterday.

He said the proposed law would restore the voice of the people in determining a government, which will see them no longer depend on the stand taken by elected representatives.

"After the 14th General Election, the changes of government were influenced by members of parliament as well as assemblymen.

"This should end because it contributes to political instability, which disrupts a government's long-term plans and efforts to serve the people."

The reforms, said Fazzrudin, would enable the government to continue working for the people without having to worry about political unrest, which could lead to its collapse.

On the Constitutional Amendment Bill for the implementation of Undi18 in the near future, he was hopeful that it would be backed by all parliamentarians, in line with the decision of the Kuching High Court, which decided that Undi18 should be implemented by Dec 31.

He added that it was necessary for the government to expedite the implementation of Undi18.

"I welcome the prime minister's announcement to include opposition party representatives in the National Recovery Council.

"This will encourage a whole-of-society approach in helping the country recover from the Covid-19 and economic crises.

"I hope his offer is welcomed by all parties as it will mark a new chapter in the country's governance, in line with the concept of Keluarga Malaysia."

In Kuala Kangsar, Padang Rengas member of parliament Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the reforms would prevent the people and country from becoming victims of politicians' vested interest.

He said he supported the proposed National Recovery Council and hoped the opposition did not reject it.

"This is a good challenge. We should get everyone involved since (it would boost) economic recovery.

"Any decision will be made not only based on the views of the government, but also those of ordinary people and the opposition," he said at his home here yesterday.

On Friday, Ismail Sabri announced his intention to table several laws in the upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting that would transform Parliament and the running of the government.

He promised to enact an anti-party hopping law, limit the prime minister's term to 10 years, provide the opposition leader the same emolument and resources as a minister, set an equal number of opposition members in parliamentary select committees, bipartisan negotiation on bills, involve opposition MPs in the National Recovery Council, and amend the Constitution to allow citizens aged 18 and above to vote.

Known for his sarcasm and hard-hitting remarks, Nazri said the enrolment of 18 year olds as voters proved that the excuse of saying that they were immature was unacceptable.

"Because the examples shown by adult MPs do not symbolise maturity... the sultan of Johor (Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar) asked elected representatives not to turn the house into a monkey cage.

"I think adults have no right to say that young people are immature because they themselves do not show political maturity."

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