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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Increase select committee members to 16 MPs, group urges

While lauding the formation of 10 parliamentary special select committees (PSSCs) at Parliament, a group urged the government to increase the composition of MPs in each committee to a maximum of 16 people.

“Currently, each committee would only have nine members. It is a waste as it fails to fully utilise backbenchers and opposition MPs.

“There are 67 MPs who have no roles because they are not members of any special select committee or Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

“Hence, we propose increasing the composition of MPs in each committee to a maximum of 16 people.

“Perhaps, we can consider establishing more committees to ensure that all MPs fulfil their function and role in the committee that has been assigned,” it said.

On March 21, Dewan Rakyat approved the formation of 10 PSSCs to have a stronger oversight mechanism.

The committees are for Finance and Economy; Health; Domestic Trade, Entrepreneurship, Cost of Living and Agriculture; Infrastructure, Transport and Communications; Nation-building, Ethnicity, Education and Human Resources Development and Women, Family and Community Development.

Other PSSCs include Environment, Science and Plantations; Security; International Relations and International Trade and Human Rights, Elections and Institutional Reforms.

On that note, CSO Platform welcomed the establishment of the PSSCs on Women, Children and Community and on Human Rights, Elections and Institutional Reform.

“These two committees will play an important role in ensuring that justice and equality for all Malaysians can be preserved.

“It will also make Malaysia a more inclusive and fair country in line with the concept of a civilised Malaysia,” it added.

The group said the PSSCs should be a space for Malaysians to provide views and opinions, and contribute ideas on issues that involve their interests.

“In addition, we would also like to express our willingness to cooperate with the committees in ensuring that the democratic process in Malaysia runs smoothly and transparently.

“We believe that the involvement of civil society organisations in this framework will enable the committees to obtain information.

“As a suggestion for improvement, we hope that the PSSCs can give more space and opportunities to representatives of civil society and human rights activists to give their views on the issues discussed in the committee.

“And we hope that we will be given more access to information and data related to the issues discussed so that the decisions made are based on facts and solid evidence,” it mentioned. - Mkini

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