Categorised | MP Watch

Knowing your MP

IF you had a chance to ask just one question of all our MPs regarding how they view our democracy and what they would do about it, what would it be?

Through a project called MP Watch: Eye on Parliament, The Nut Graph invites readers to better know the 222 Members of Parliament (MPs) and their position on key issues.

This one-year project will ask all 222 Malaysian MPs six key questions about issues that affect our democracy, and about how to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.

Six standard questions will be asked of every MP and their answers will be published on The Nut Graph. Three questions have been pre-selected by The Nut Graph because we feel they are foundational to the working practice of parliamentary democracy:

Would you support the abolition/review of the Internal Security Act, in particular the provision that allows for detention without trial? Why or why not?

Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?

How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfil your role?

Three more questions that will be posed to MPs will be determined by The Nut Graph readers through this open invitation. Readers are asked to choose their most preferred question from the following six. The top three that garner the most votes will make up the rest of the questions that we will pose to the MPs.

1 Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?

2 Would you support the removal of media laws such as the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA)? Why or why not?

3 Would you support the Anti-sexual Harassment Bill? Why or why not?

4 If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?

5 Do you believe in separation of powers? Why or why not?

6 What is at least one thing Parliament could do to ensure equal and fair opportunities for all citizens?

We hope that this project will help us all gauge the health of the legislature, one component of democracy in Malaysia; allow voters to get to know their MPs better; and provide MPs a platform to share their ideas about parliamentary democracy.

Remember to choose only one question from the six above and state your choice in the comments section below. This invitation is open only until the end of Thursday, 14 Jan 2010. Thanks for your participation!


MP Watch: Eye on Parliament is a project by The Nut Graph supported by 

Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung is a German foundation named after the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and is guided by his principles. It supports democracy and the rule of law, human rights, furthering cooperation between different nations and cultures, and promoting the German concept of social market economy. KAS has been active in Malaysia for over three decades. 

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64 Responses to “Knowing your MP”

  1. Vikraman says:

    What is at least one thing Parliament could do to ensure equal and fair opportunities for all citizens?

    Would you support the removal of media laws such as the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA)? Why or why not?

    Do you believe in separation of powers? Why or why not?

  2. Sean says:

    Your last question admits longer answers than the others. Shouldn’t it be worded similarly to the 4th?

    “What is the one thing” or “What is the best thing” or “What is the first thing”

  3. KW Mak says:

    I would go for the question #1, on the Freedom of Information Act. As it is now, policies are being made without much transparency and accountability. If we are to analyse and rectify the issues that plague our society, we need to be more open with information.

    Every other question that is to be asked will be answered once we have the information we need to act on them.

  4. Lainie says:

    I vote for #3 Anti-sexual harassment

  5. Daniel says:

    No. 4, I believe Parliamentary democracy and its role in checking and balancing the Executive is of utmost importance. It provides the path to other crisis we’re facing as a nation.

  6. adriene says:

    My choice is question number 1 because the lack of freedom of information in Malaysia is preventing individuals from making informed choices for themselves.

  7. Vizla says:

    My vote is for question No. 3

  8. Anonymous Coward says:

    I would like to see question No. 1 being asked as I believe strongly in the freedom of information. If people are not able to gain access to information freely, they cannot make informed decisions. This is highly critical to nation-building.

  9. Dinesh Chandren says:

    I choose this question:
    Would you support the Anti-sexual Harassment Bill? Why or why not?

  10. Cindy says:

    I’d like to know which MPs, regardless of the party Whip, are truly committed to transparency and accountability through a Freedom of Information Act.

  11. thokiat says:

    Plenty of work needs to be initiated to further strengthen Parlimentary democracy in Malaysia. No. 4 is my choice.

  12. andrew says:

    Question #2!

    Because 1) no one has supported it yet, 2) the media has to play its job as a regulatory institution/fourth estate, and 3) it is the institutional complement to the legalistic FOI Act.

  13. seriati says:

    I go for #3.
    My MP is now in Washington, as ambassador.

  14. Eric says:

    I vote for 2 and 5.


    Editor’s note: Please remember that we only need readers to vote for ONE out of the six questions. If you choose more than one, we will take only the first question you chose, in this case, question no. 2.

  15. Patrick says:

    Kind of split between #1 and #2, although if push came to shove, I would prefer #1.

  16. Yasmin says:

    A vote for question #3!

  17. siew eng says:

    #1 – information is truly power. And the link to checking corruption is so obvious that we can really pin down an MP as being undemocratic if they dare say they don’t support this.

    Also, information is even closer to everyone’s reach now, thanks to technology. Who needs the traditional media? Which is why I’m not choosing #2. Even if the law is removed, the political ownership and control of the mainstream media have been too ingrained in and normalised by the senior editors propped up there by their political masters that I don’t see them reverting to their role as the Fourth Estate.

    How can you remember how to do something that you haven’t been doing for decades?

    Also interested in #4 and #6, but not choosing them because it’s harder to do the name/shame thing with these broader answers – heh!

  18. Kooi says:

    Take Q1, 5 and 6 as the top 3 issues for MPs.


    Editor’s note: Please remember that we only need readers to vote for ONE out of the six questions. If you choose more than one, we will take only the first question you chose, in this case, question no. 1.

  19. Pratamad says:

    You have made the choice so tough for me, as I see all six questions equally important for our democracy.

    Out of desperation, I would pick #5. Without clear separation of powers and independent state organs like the police and judiciary, a smooth democratic process cannot exist, as witnessed in Perak coup and Najib’s complicity in the Altaantuya case.

  20. Imad says:

    Like others before me, i would go for #1: “Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?”

    Full rights of the press and media is really important to strengthening any country IMHO, and i’d like to see how many Malaysian MPs feel that way as well.

  21. Monica says:

    Question 5

  22. Dr.Leong Shown Chong says:

    Knowledge of truth empowers and brings about changes. You may be free to print as you please but without access to the truth it amounts to nothing much. Believing in principles is fine by itself but it does not mean that one will necessarily do something about it. But when the question is..do you support.. it means that you have to commit your belief into action. What I want from my MP is not only talk but action.

    My choice is question 1.

  23. Q1 says:

    I vote for…
    #2. “Would you support the removal of media laws such as the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA)? Why or why not?”

  24. Richard Loh says:

    Do you believe in separation of powers? Why or why not?

    This one is important to see that true democracy is practiced.

  25. Tan says:

    #1: I fully support abolishing the ISA as it had been constantly abused by the Home Minister to arrest dissidents especially activists and YBs. To arrest YBs under ISA is to [assume] voters [are stupid] in electing them. Besides, in a democratic country, the rule of law should be applied to any segment of the governing bodies and not selectively. In addition, no single minister should have the absolute power to arrest and determine the fate of the would be offenders. That is to say, there must be separation of powers between judiciary, executive and lawmakers.

  26. Javine Wong says:

    Do you believe in separation of powers? Why or why not?

  27. U-Jean says:

    My vote is for Question 3

  28. romerz says:

    #5

    Without separation of powers, Parliament cannot function as it was intended by the constitution and this is a watch on Parliament.

  29. Mooza Mohd says:

    Question 4, because some of them might think this is a trap question.

  30. Boo Su-Lyn says:

    Question 4 please.

  31. Gayathry says:

    #2 because it has effectively curbed meaningful expression in the country.

  32. PS Tan says:

    I would vote for the following:
    - Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
    - Do you believe in separation of powers? Why or why not?
    - What is at least one thing Parliament could do to ensure equal and fair opportunities for all citizens?

  33. aMalaysian says:

    I go for question no.1.

  34. Aylwin Chin says:

    Question No. 5: Do you believe in separation of powers? Why or why not?

  35. Bizcheah says:

    Qu 1, 5 & 6…


    Editor’s note: Please remember that we only need readers to vote for ONE out of the six questions. If you choose more than one, we will take only the first question you chose, in this case, question no. 1.

  36. Naoko says:

    1, 2 and 5.


    Editor’s note: Please remember that we only need readers to vote for ONE out of the six questions. If you choose more than one, we will take only the first question you chose, in this case, question no. 1.

  37. ramachandram says:

    My choice will be #1. The MSM at the moment are tools of the ruling and the mighty. Most of the news are not the truth and there are many acts not to reveal the mistakes and blunders of those within the corridors of power. When true information is distorted and modified to suite the elite, then there is no accountability, tranparency,and no freedom of speech. Those in power are always right. If not corrected this will destroy the Malaysia our forefathers have fought for. We love for Malaysia to be respected internationally, with intergrity and honesty and not because we claim that Malaysia is the best. Others should judge. History has taught us but we are not learning.

  38. Chen says:

    Question number six!

  39. Leithaisor says:

    I vote for “5. Do you believe in separation of powers? Why or why not?”

    The other questions do highlight important issues, but there is a distinct need to shore up and increase support for the check-and-balance afforded by separation of powers.

    What good is it to have information about eye-popping wrong-doings [thanks to FOI Act] which the Press report [thanks to repeal of PPPA], if there are doubts about the independence and fairness of the Judiciary and the loyalty of the Legislature being firstly to the Rakyat, and not political masters?

  40. plasma16 says:

    Q #1 Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?

  41. faith04 says:

    I choose #1″ Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not? “

  42. Fishfoot says:

    Kinda stuck between #1 and #6, but I think I’ll go with #1.

  43. Robert says:

    No. 4: – “If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?”

  44. pei ling says:

    No. 4. If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?

    Somehow find it hard to imagine the answers … Looking forward to their responses (if this question is chosen).

  45. Shoe says:

    My vote is for: If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?

  46. a lim says:

    4. I like all questions, but 4 is most overarching/broadly based.

  47. Fiona says:

    No. 1

  48. julian says:

    #1 “Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?”

    Transparency and accountability are the foundations of an effective, fair and efficient state. A politician who is not scared of openness, is one who is worthy of the great responsibility of government.

  49. Chad Koh says:

    I will go with # 2 [...] I strongly believe that we need a vibrant, independent, and influential watchdog to keep the government and the executive in line. It is only through public awareness and public pressure that the civil service and the politicians will truly start to serve the people and not themselves.

  50. danny leebob says:

    No. 6

    My MP is Tiong King Sing. I want to know where he stands with regards to NEP, university entrance for my children, MLNG government and Petronas contractors’ licences.

  51. Jess says:

    #2. Unequivocally. Would you support the removal of media laws such as the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA)? Why or why not?

    A free press is the strongest contributor to the establishment of a free and democratic Malaysia. Look at what happened when the internet news sites and political blogging burst onto the scene in GE12. However only a limited section of Malaysians has access to the internet. Imagine if the printed press was unshackled and run freely like the internet. How many more Malaysians will become truly informed about the real issues that beset Malaysia and the poor governance that BN has got away with thanks to the PPPA?

  52. FBB says:

    Do you believe in separation of powers? Why or why not?

  53. ally says:

    If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?

  54. Chen says:

    Q1, please.

  55. adrian says:

    #1
    Other questions [are] too wishy-washy..

  56. MichaelC says:

    No. 6 What is at least one thing Parliament could do to ensure equal and fair opportunities for all citizens?


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