Name: Ahmad Maslan
Years as MP: Since 2008
Deputy minister in the prime minister’s department
Membership in parliamentary committees or caucuses: None
Would you support the abolition/review of the Internal Security Act (ISA), in particular the provision that allows for detention without trial? Why or why not?
The government is currently reviewing the ISA as announced by the home minister. We have to wait for the details.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
The previous prime ministers have mentioned that Malaysia is a Muslim/Islamic state, so I won’t contradict them.
How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfil your role?
I want to be a “juara rakyat”, a champion of the people, to champion their livelihoods, their welfare, their development, to be number one in their hearts and minds, and to put them first in my work as an MP.
As for parliamentary infrastructure and resources, I wish deputy ministers could have a bigger office, as currently we all use the same room. But this is a small matter.
I also wish that in Parliament, the opposition would limit themselves and watch the time when they talk. Sometimes they talk for hours and repeat themselves, or repeat what other opposition counterparts have said already. It wastes precious time. I wish for firm guidelines in allotting the amount of time for MPs to speak, and to ensure that everyone sticks to the time limit. We should also allocate the number of people who can speak in a day.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
Yes, but it does not mean there is freedom to lie or to slander. I support the freedom for people to write and express themselves in blogs, but please don’t smear others.
As to making government information public on tenders, there is already a directive from the prime minister to inform the public on tenders that are approved.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
The rakyat will be number one. I will support anything good for the people. Whatever act, or budget allocation, or discussion, if it brings betterment to the people, I would support it and would like it to be passed. And then to see it implemented.
Do you believe in the separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
Yes, I believe in it and we should continue it. There may be some grey areas [where] people [perceive] interference in the independence of the branches of government, but theoretically there should be separation of power. These are just perceptions, and it doesn’t mean it is happening. There should be efforts made so that there are no such negative perceptions about the independence of the three [respective] branches.
For other MP responses, see Full MP list