Categorised | MP Watch

Ronald Kiandee (Beluran)

BELURAN Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Ronald Kiandee’s response to the MP Watch: Eye on Parliament project, which asks all 222 MPs six questions.

Name: Ronald Kiandee

Party: Umno
Years as MP:
Since 2000

Government position: None

Party position: None

Membership in parliamentary committees or caucus:
Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat

Blog/website: 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?

I support the ISA because it is a pre-emptive law for our plural society in Malaysia. In reality, all laws will have to be studied from time to time so that they are relevant in the present day. So it is not a matter of whether I support it or not, because all laws become inappropriate or outdated with the passing of time.

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

Why do we need to decide whether this country is an Islamic or secular state? With the diversity of cultures, races and religions, the most important thing is to uphold harmony and unity. All religions encourage and bid us to do good things and not to stir ill-feelings.

A life that is not based on religion can also be detrimental, and if we choose to hold on fully to secular doctrines, this also does not guarantee that the nation will be harmonious and peaceful. In my opinion, what we practise today — upholding the Federal Constitution — is what brings us harmony and peace.

Therefore, why do we need to state whether this country is Islamic or secular? In Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution, it says that Islam is the federal religion. Even so, other religions can be practised peacefully in all parts of the federation. Other than that, Article 11(1) addresses freedom of religion, where everyone has the right to follow and practise their own religion, subject to Clause 4.

This shows how unique this country is compared to other countries, as Malaysia is one of the countries in the world that makes Islam its official religion and also maintains two parallel justice systems, civil and syariah.

3How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfil your role? 

The main role of a Member of Parliament is to represent the aspirations of the people as well as of the nation. We also ensure that all government policies are implemented as planned.

MPs need more researchers with specific expertise. In Indonesia, for example, each Member of Parliament has three researchers.

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

Freedom of information in Malaysia is monitored through existing Acts under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, like the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, the Digital Signature Act 1997, and the Postal Services Act 1991.

I think, for now, that these Acts are enough and effective when it comes to providing the space for freedom and the control of information in our country. We acknowledge that freedom of speech is among the elements of a democratic and mature society. But in the context of our plural society, freedom of speech should have its limits because of the diversity of religions, cultures and beliefs. There is the possibility that the subjects, words or language that we use are sensitive to some parties even if they are alright to others.

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

As a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, I feel that the step to strengthen parliamentary democracy is to ensure that Parliament becomes the ultimate body that enacts laws which can be implemented throughout the country. Parliament should also be the forum for public critique and opinion about national issues.

6Do you believe in separation of powers among the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not? 

Yes, the separation of powers is the basis of the country’s formation. It is to ensure that the same people are not in charge of lawmaking, enforcing the law, and penalising those who break these laws. This requires a clear separation of power, without any overlap, among the legislative, executive and judicial bodies. favicon

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3 Responses to “Ronald Kiandee (Beluran)”

  1. Hwa Shi-Hsia says:

    Yet another YB who doesn’t understand the difference between “freedom of speech” and “freedom of information”. Maybe you guys need to start explaining to them what you mean by a FOIA first.

  2. Dinesh says:

    Is it an MP’s main task to “ensure that all government policies are implemented as planned”? Isn’t that the job of the various government departments, and by extension, the Executive?

    Isn’t Parliament already the “ultimate body that enacts laws which can be implemented throughout the country”? Does his reply seem to hint that Parliament is not that “ultimate body”? Of course, we need to recognise the role of the State Assemblies (DUN).

    Unfortunately in Malaysia, as in other countries, members of the Executive are also members of the legislative body. Therefore, based on current conditions, there can be no absolute separation, without any overlap, of the three branches of government.

    Furthermore, most of our laws (pretty much all, in fact) are actually tabled by members of the Executive, rather than non-Cabinet MPs. I read somewhere that there hasn’t been a Private Member’s Bill since the 1950s.

  3. Lainie says:

    Shi-Hsia: Quite telling, no? The answers in the MP Watch series doesn’t do much for my hope of a FOIA.

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