Updated 12:45pm, 3 March 2010
(Source: parlimen.gov.my) Name: Maximus @ Johnity Ongkili
Constituency: Kota Marudu
Years as MP:
2004-present (Kota Marudu)
Minister of science, technology and innovation
Membership in parliamentary committee or caucus: None
Original deadline: 25 Feb 2010
Responses submitted: 10:03am, 3 March 2010
Would you support the abolition/review of the Internal Security Act, in particular the provision that allows for detention without trial? Why or why not?
I am for a review of the ISA. The Act should be used to counter terrorism and threats to national security and not [be] based on any political considerations.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
The constitution portrays the nation as a “secular” state, but driven by beliefs and practices as contained in other laws of the country in respect to religious and race relations.
How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfil your role?
Parliament has provided as much support as it can. Perhaps many feel the inadequacy when comparing with other countries in the region. For example, Singapore, with its remuneration for MPs; and India, in the way basic infrastructure is provided for the elected representatives, [which includes] offices, cars, bodyguards at their constituencies, and enough funds to engage research assistants.
Malaysia should meet some of the basic needs of the members of the legislature, which will make us more effective MPs.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
There is sufficient access to necessary information through the proper channels, such as information required for investment and societal development in this country. [However], there is perhaps insufficient access to information for political purposes and for engagement by international non-governmental organisations.
But there is really no such thing as absolute freedom. For example, freedom does not give the right to harm others. This means freedom must always be accompanied by responsibility.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
We should be freer to explain our competing ideologies, so long as they are consistent with the established democratic principles that the country has embraced. Perhaps there needs to be better access to the media for all to espouse their political beliefs.
Do you believe in separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
There has always been separation of powers, and ought to always be. Judicial process mixed with politics is toxic to the heart and soul of every citizen. The challenge has always been to [walk] the narrow path, where the dividing line is.
For other MP responses, see Full MP list