Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lawmakers push for true separation of power

Writer: Gan Pei Ling
Published: Fri, 23 Mar 2012

SHAH ALAM: Selangor lawmakers are calling on the state to table a bill to set up an independent service commission for the House in a push for greater democracy.

“In order to become a first-class state assembly, we need to have a service commission under the Speaker that’s independent of the Executive and free from political influence,” said Lau Weng San (Kampung Tunku-DAP).

He said only a truly autonomous legislature can monitor and scrutinise the state administration effectively as practised in advanced democracies like the United Kingdom.

Currently, the state assembly’s administration and budget are controlled by the executive council. Lawmakers have little say.

“The House cannot be considered independent until it has its own service team that is free from the public service,” said Lau, who had returned from a parliamentary seminar in London two weeks ago.

Lau: The House cannot be considered independent until it has its own service team that is free from the public service.

He noted that the Parliament had its own service commission under the Parliamentary Service Act 1963 until the act was repealed in 1992.

Lee Kim Sin (Kajang-PKR) also called on the executive council to table the bill at the next state assembly sitting since the draft is ready.

“When I was attending the London seminar, I was ashamed to tell (lawmakers from other countries) that Selangor has yet to have its own service commission,” said Lee.

Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim had told Selangor Times on March 12 that the draft for the Selangor Legislative Assembly Service Commission Enactment (SELESA) was ready.

Teng said the House would have full control of its own budget and staff with the establishment of an independent service commission.

He said the service commission should be chaired by the Speaker, with representatives from the Backbenchers’ Club, opposition and the executive.

However, he said the executive council has yet to approve the draft bill.

Selangor Times
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