MPs Across Divide Launch Democracy Caucus To Level The Playing Field In Parliament

Members of Parliament announced the launch of the Parliamentary Caucus for Multi-Party Democracy at a press conference in Parliament. Screengrab from Parliament’s live telecast of press conference.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 – Members of Parliament from the ruling and Opposition parties today announced the launch of a caucus – Parliamentary Caucus for Multi-Party Democracy – aimed at enhancing the processes and operations of the Parliament with a level playing field for all parliamentarians.

A priority issue that members of the caucus have agreed is to look at revising the Dewan Rakyat Standing Order to improve parliamentary operations, said Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said who will be co-convener of the caucus with Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah.

Election watchdog Bersih will take on the role of the Secretariat for the caucus as there will be no funding for the caucus from the parliament. Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Aazhar Azizan Harun had been notified of the caucus, Azalina said.

The caucus is to encourage dialogues, engagement and participation from across all parties in ensuring the proper operations of parliament institutions, namely the Dewan Rakyat, while make it easier for the participation of the public in the parliament processes, she said.

The caucus also hopes to introduce other reforms such as the digitisation of parliamentary processes, better engagement with the public, media, and experts from NGOs with the aim of strengthening the country’s democratic practices.

She also said caucus will address gender imbalances in the leadership in the parliament houses.

Maria Chin said the focus of the caucus will be on the laws and policies and driven by what is the national interest at stake. It will involve all parties and the priority will on the issues concerning the country.

MPs who have joined the caucus include Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP from PKR Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Hulu Langat MP Datuk Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (Amanah), Kuala Langat MP Datuk Dr Xavier Jeyakumar (Independent), Seremban MP Anthony Loke (DAP), Alor Gajah MP Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof (Bersatu), Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi (DAP), Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Madius Tangau (Upko), Penampang MP Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking (Warisan), Julau MP Larry S’ng (Parti Bangsa Malaysia) and Selangor MP Baru Bian (Parti Sarawak Bersatu).