Updated 11.15pm, 9 April 2010
Name: Tan Ah Eng
Constituency: Gelang Patah
Years as MP: Since 2004
Government post: None
Johor Wanita chairperson
Wanita deputy chief (as of 8 April 2010)
Membership in parliamentary committee or caucus:
Public Accounts Committee member
Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club committee member
Original deadline: 8 March 2010
Responses submitted: 11:15am, 6 April 2010
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?
As a developing country, I don’t support the abolishment of the ISA. But review, yes. If a person is detained under the Act, the government should act fast and investigate. There should be a definite time frame to bring them to court to prove whether they are innocent or otherwise.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
[Updated] This is very simple. Malaysia should be a secular state. I don’t think it should be an Islamic state. There are more than 30% non-bumiputera and non-Muslims in this country. So I don’t think Malaysia should be an Islamic state.
How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfill your role?
As an MP, an important task is to help the government make sure that policies benefit the people. We don’t deny that there are good policies in Malaysia, but our problem is implementation. As an MP, we also have to help the government to ensure that policies are implemented fairly, and bring benefit to the people.
In Malaysia, we still don’t have enough support from Parliament. We don’t have any research assistants provided by the government [for our parliamentary work], or in the constituency. We have to employ our own personal assistants. I think everyone knows that Malaysian MPs’ salaries are among the lowest in Southeast Asia.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
I support a Freedom of Information Act subject to there being controls in certain areas.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
There should be more female parliamentarians. More female candidates should be put up to stand for election. At the moment, less than 11% of all MPs are women.
Do you believe in separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
Yes, of course. Separation of powers is important. If these three bodies are not separate and independent, people will lose confidence in these institutions.
For other MP responses, see Full MP list
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