Thursday, April 19, 2012

Selfish BN treating parliament as rubber stamp

Source: (By G Vinod, 19/4/2012)
The Dewan Rakyat is likely to bulldoze eight Bills and debate five motions today despite protests from Pakatan Rakyat MPs.
The five motions rushed through this morning were from the Finance Ministry. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong earlier told Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee that the government wanted the second reading of the eight bills and the five debates completed by end of the day.
At this juncture, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok stood up and protested saying the MPs won’t have enough time to debate the bills but Kiandee ignored her interjection.
Among the Bills that are to be passed for a second reading today are the Elections Offences (Amendment) Bill 2012, Universities and University Colleges (Amendment) Bill 2012, Private Higher Education Institutions (Amendment) Bill 2012, Education Institutions (Discipline) (Amendment) Bill and the Printing Presses and Publication (Amendment) Bill 2012. Liew’s motion was seconded by Deputy Works Minister Yong Khoon Seng.
Speaking at a press conference later, Kok criticised the speaker for rushing through the Bills saying that a lot of the legislation needed time to be debated. “We took more than a day to debate the Securities Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012. “More time is needed to debate the amendments to the Printing Presses and Publication Act and the amendments to the Universities and University Colleges Act,” said Kok. She accused the government of rushing through the Bills as the general election was looming over the horizon. “The government is treating the Parliament as a rubber stamp. A lot of us didn’t expect this,” she said.
Selfish BN
Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him echoed Kok’s sentiments, saying the Bills being bulldozed are of public interest and should not be rushed. On why Kiandee allowed it, Sim said he would not want to speculate on the deputy speaker’s decision but said probably the government wanted to use the laws as its selling point for the general election.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng was more vocal, saying the rush job showed how selfish BN was at expense of the rakyat’s interest. “The whole month they never bothered. Only the last day they are doing this. They just want show that the prime minister (Najib Tun Razak) had fulfilled his pledge,” he said.
Liew: Ample time game
A cornered Liew later denied that the government was trying to bulldoze its way with the eight Bills, and claimed that all MPs present had been given due notice. “[There's] no such thing as bulldozed. All the MPs have been given notice on the Bills, so how can it be bulldozed?” he told reporters in Parliament. Asked if there was enough time to debate all Bills available, Liew evaded the question and blamed the MPs for wasting time during sittings. “As I said just now… time has been wasted because some of the MPs have been bringing up issues that are not related to the Bills that have been tabled. They talk about so many unrelated issues,” he said.

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