BUKIT Gantang Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin responds to the MP Watch: Eye on Parliament project, which asks all 222 MPs the same six questions about parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.
Three of the questions were selected by readers and three others by The Nut Graph.
Name: Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin
Constituency: Bukit Gantang
Party: PAS (Opposition)
Years as MP: 2009-
Government position: None
PAS central committee member
Membership in parliamentary committees or caucus: None
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 fully support the abolition of the ISA. Detention without trial is inhuman and forbidden in Islam.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
Malaysia should be a baldatun tayyibatun wa rabbun ghafoor (a state which is virtuous and forgiven by the almighty God). Whatever its name, it must have those qualities and philosophy.
How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfill your role?
My role as an MP is to legislate laws which provide equal opportunities in the distribution of wealth and resources for Malaysians irrespective of race, creed, colour, religion, gender or culture. My role is also to ensure that all people in my parliamentary constituency have access to basic amenities and opportunities to enhance their livelihood here in this worldly life and in the hereafter.
No. Parliament denies me my rights to carry out all of the above roles except for providing my monthly allowance (approximately RM10,000.00) to be distributed.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
Yes, I would support a Freedom of Information Act because it is our right. For 52 years, we have been denied [access to information] under the BN (Barisan Nasional) which has resulted in the state becoming “bankrupt” in all senses and aspects.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
All heads of strategic government agencies (e.g. the judiciary, police, army, Chief Secretary to the Government, ambassadors, university vice-chancellors, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Petronas, etc) must be determined and decided by Parliament.
Do you believe in separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
I believe in the separation of powers. [There should also be] another element which is a Supreme Council of Advisors at the top overseeing the running of the three institutions. The council’s members can be subject to discussions, but all heads of major religions should be in.
Parliament must also meet four days a month, every month. A state parliamentary committee in each state should also be created to enhance the spirit of federalism, irrespective of which party governs the states.
For other MP responses, see Full MP list