(Source: parlimen.gov.my) Name: Fong Kui Lun
Constituency: Bukit Bintang
Party: DAP (Opposition)
Years as MP: Since 1999
Government position: None
Membership in parliamentary committees or caucus:
Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus
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 will support the abolition of the ISA as detention without trial betrays a person’s basic human rights. [Such acts are only for] places where draconian laws are practised.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic State? Why?
Malaysia is a secular state and it should remain that way. Constitutional documents leading towards our independence in 1957 clearly state that Malaysia is conceived as a secular state and Islam is to be the official religion.
How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfil your role?
As an MP, we are the people’s representative in Parliament, we are their voice and the means to pass their message across to lawmakers to address their issues and to keep their interests protected at all times.
As an MP in a federal territory, I have basically three roles. I [function as] MP, state assembly[person] and local councillor because there are no state or local government elections to have more representatives to serve the people.
The government does not provide basic infrastructure for MPs to serve their constituencies. Basic necessities such as a premise from which to operate, assistants and researchers, are all not provided. As such, an MP would have to bear all the cost of hiring and renting premises, which greatly reduces their available resources and time. This time could be spent on studying and drawing up new policies.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why Not?
Yes, I am in full support of a Freedom of Information Act as it is a basic human right in line with democracy to have access to information without restrictions.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
The electoral system needs to be overhauled. The number of voters in each constituency should be fairly and equally distributed. Some MPs serve more than 90,000 voters, and some are serving less than 10,000 in a constituency. The discrepancy is far too great.
Furthermore, the date of the general election should be announced six months prior to the elections to give ample time for the candidates to prepare for election day.
Do you believe in the separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
The separation of powers enables a check and balance system to be in place. It would be good for Malaysia to achieve this. However, we are still far behind the developed countries when it comes to separation of powers.
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