Name: Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut
Constituency: Kuala Terengganu
Years as MP: Since 17 Jan 2009 (won in a by-election)
Government position: None
Party position: Terengganu deputy commissioner
Membership in parliamentary committees or caucus: 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 am against the ISA. It is an outdated law and might as well be abolished.
Now, the government wants to review certain provisions in the Act. If that is the case, the most important thing to review is the provision on detention without trial. It is a violation of human rights to imprison people without giving them a chance to defend themselves in a court of law.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
It is currently a secular state. PAS, as an Islamic party, would like to have an Islamic country because we believe that that this system will give all people fairness and opportunities.
The problem with the Malaysian psyche is that when you mention “Islamic state” or talk about an Islamic resurgence, people think this has to do with fanaticism. But what we want is to make sure that justice is provided to all people. Justice and welfare will be the priorities under 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?
I am also a state assemblyperson [for Wakaf Mempelam]. When one is elected as an MP or assembly[person], you have to voice out the people’s needs. Some elected representatives just keep quiet and don’t say anything in the assembly. That is not fulfilling their role.
Also, as a people’s representative, I have to be on the ground to attend to their concerns. And as a party leader, I also have an additional role to play.
As for parliamentary resources, it is not enough. As you know, [opposition MPs] are denied their federal constituency allocations, unlike Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs. So it is quite a problem for opposition MPs to raise money each month. We have so many voters to cater to. Especially for me, as both an assembly[person] and as an MP. Voters have a lot of expectations even after you explain to them that you are denied the federal allocation. It is particularly hard for kampung people to accept.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
Yes, I would. A lot of the news we get is filtered. Such an Act is important so that people can get right and accurate information about the government, and ensure that the government doesn’t manipulate issues.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
I would reform the Election Commission. It needs to be reformed in many aspects; for instance, on the automatic registration of voters when they turn 21 years old. Many other countries practise this, so why can’t we?
Automatic registration is important because otherwise the registration process can be manipulated. [The opposition parties] face problems in registering new voters. In Terengganu, PAS is facing this difficulty.
Last year, PAS could only register over 1,000 new voters when they were actually 9,000 eligible unregistered voters. The BN parties registered 7,000-plus new voters. They are able to get so many because they offer cash and other incentives if you register under the BN. There were young people supportive of PAS who said they became registered voters through the BN for the incentives. They told us they would still vote PAS during elections, but how can we be sure they will?
Do you believe in separation of powers between the executive, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
Yes, it is what we have been fighting for all this while. As shown in the VK Lingam case, there is interference in the judiciary. The separation of powers is basic and essential to good governance.
For other MP responses, see Full MP list
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