Nazri should first be imbued with Abdullah’s precept to rectify  the “First world Infrastructure, Third  World Mentality” if he is to be a good Minister in the Abdullah  Cabinet

Media Conference Statement
after the opening of  the DAP 2004 General Election Post-Election Conference of DAP MPs, State Assemblymen and candidates
by Lim Kit Siang

(Kuala LumpurSunday): Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, who is in charge of parliamentary affairs, should first be imbued with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s precept to rectify  the “First world Infrastructure, Third World Mentality” if he is to be a good Minister in the Abdullah  Cabinet.

Nazri said yesterday hat he was not in favour of my proposals to have live telecast of the parliament proceedings and to form a dedicated parliamentary select committee on certain issues.

He said: "I will recommend to the prime minister not to agree to these proposals. There are more negative consequences rather than positive outcomes."

He said: “During proceedings, MPs and ministers may not sit in the House for six hours as they will walk out and work in their offices.  Sometimes I myself do some paperwork in my office and listen to the debate through the public address system.”

He said if the proceedings were telecast live, there could be many empty seats and the public would have a negative perception of the MPs.

He said: “They may not understand the mechanism of the proceedings.”  (New Sunday Times)

He also alleged that based on similar live telecasts in countries like Taiwan and Britain, there was a tendency for certain quarters to play to the gallery.

"There are scenes of MPs fighting in some countries. We don't want the people to watch such things here...furthermore there are times when the house may look deserted because the quorum is only 26," he added.
On the select committee, Nazri said there was no need for it as the current mechanisms are enough and MPs should not be burdened with extra tasks.(Bernama)

I am both disappointed and shocked by Nazri’s response and reactions to my propsoals for parliamentary reforms which are aimed to elevate Malaysia to a “First World Infrastructure, First world Mentality” status starting with a “First World Parliament”! 

It is clear that Nazri does not know what he is talking about, and that he is completely out of his depths when discussing long-delayed parliamentary reforms in Malaysia.  As  one of those in the Barisan Nasional front-benches most guilty of “playing to the gallery”, it is surprising that he should be talking about the need to curb such practices. If needed, I am prepared to  cite the instances where Nazri was more interested in “playing to the gallery” instead of carrying out his Ministerial duties diligently and conscientiously. 

I would advise Nazri to be more humble to  learn more about parliamentary reforms before bringing his “First world Infrastructure, Third World Mentality” mindset and outlook to the challenges  of parliamentary reforms to ensure the restoration of  meaningful parliamentary democracy after decades of unrelenting executive erosion of parliamentary powers, privileges and position. 

I would remind Nazri of Abdullah’s first pledge in his maiden official speech in Parliament as Prime Minister on November 3, 2003 to respect and uphold the separation of powers between the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary – and that the first step to honour such a pledge is to support wide-ranging parliamentary reforms such as live telecast of parliamentary proceedings and the  establishment of parliamentary select  committees to enable MPs to specialize in various subjects of public interest to make them better legislators and parliamentarians.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor