Reforming Malaysia’s Parliament: Lessons from 2020-2021
MALAYSIA STUDIES PROGRAMME WEBINAR
About the Webinar
An elected and representative legislature is the central pillar of a democratic polity. Under the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, 57 out of 183 Articles require Parliament to perform essential functions, among them: the making of laws, scrutiny of executive policy, control of national finance, control of emergency powers, protection of Malay reserves and exercise of parliamentary privileges. The House of Representatives gives legitimacy to the government, represents electoral constituencies, and approves electoral boundaries. Individual MPs help to address their constituents’ issues. The Dewan Negara represents the 13 States, the Federal Territories and minorities.
Regrettably, Malaysia’s Parliament has been in abeyance for much of 2021. It played no role in restoring political stability to the nation after the fall of the Pakatan Harapan Government in February 2020, and was a bystander in the devastating crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reform of the law and practice of Parliament is, therefore, absolutely necessary to secure its independence and enhance its institutional efficacy. The government could join hands with citizens and citizens’ groups in a national dialogue to restore the constitutional scheme of things in which the government is answerable, accountable and responsible to the representatives of the people.
Through reference to the Constitution and legal precedents from Malaysia and elsewhere, this webinar will look at the key challenges impeding the full functioning of Parliament and lay out key reforms for revitalizing this foundational institution.
About the Speaker
Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqui is the holder of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation Chair at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur; Visiting Senior Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore; Adjunct Professor at Taylor’s University Malaysia; and an Elected Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
In the past he has held office as a Member of the Malaysian Judicial Appointments Commission; a Member of the post GE-14 “Institutional Reform Committee”; and Holder of the Noah Foundation Chair at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia. He is an Emeritus Professor at UiTM.
This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.
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