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Study meaning of parliamentary precinct and introduce long-term vision

Media Statement
by Tan Seng Giaw


(Kuala Lumpur, Friday): I propose that the parliamentary House Committee study the real meaning of parliamentary precinct and introduce a long-term vision and plan to increase the precinct to over 300,000 square meters. This is to prepare for the future.

I proposed it in the House on 13.12.2007, when the Minister at the Prime Minister's Department Dato' Seri Haji Mohamed Nzari was winding up the debate on the Constitutional Amendment Bill to increase the salaries of Speakers and their Deputies in the Senate and Dewan Rakyat.

On 11.12.2007, the police arrested some people including the former Deputy Minister Datuk Mustapha Ali at the parliament building. We believe this is contempt of parliament.

Nazri argues that only in the House (the chamber) that the police could not act. This is unacceptable. Parliamentary immunity should be in the precinct, not just the chamber. This arises from the doctrine of the separation of powers into the legislature, the judiciary and the executive.

The House Committee or a special Select Committee should study in detail whether parliament means the chamber only or the whole precinct. It is time that this is made clear.

Parliamentary precinct must be extended. There are plots of land behind the existing parliamentary building. These should be acquired as part of the long-term vision and plan for parliamentary precinct which should be more than 300,000 square meters.


*Tan Seng Giaw, DAP Deputy Chairman & MP for Kepong

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