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No replies for 1 March 2010 [Updated]

Updated 12pm, 7 April 2010

THE following are the Members of Parliament (MPs) who have not replied to the six questions under MP Watch: Eye on Parliament as of Monday, 1 March 2010, the end of their two-week deadline. Their responses will be updated if and when they reply.

1


(Pics source: parlimen.gov.
my)
Name: Chong Chieng Jen
Constituency:
Bandar Kuching

Party: DAP (Opposition)
Years as MP:
Since 2004
Government post:
None

Party position:
National vice-chairperson
Sarawak DAP secretary

Membership in parliamentary committee or caucuses:
Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus member

Blog/website: http://chiengjen.blogspot.com


2

Name: Liew Chin Tong
Constituency:
Bukit Bendera

Party: DAP (Opposition)
Years as MP:
Since 2008
Government position:
None

Party position:
International secretary

Membership in parliamentary committee or caucuses:
Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus member
Inter-Parliamentary Union member

Blog/website: http://liewchintong.com


3

Name: Nga Kor Ming
Constituency: Taiping

Party: DAP (Opposition)
Years as MP:
Since 2008
Government position:
None

Party position:
Assistant national treasurer

Membership in parliamentary committee or caucuses: None

Blog/website: http://www.ngakorming.com/en/


Name: Saifuddin Nasution Ismail
Constituency:
Machang

Party: PKR (Opposition)
Years as MP:
Since 2008
Government post:
None

Party position:
Secretary-general

Membership in any parliamentary committee or caucus:
Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus member

Blog/website: Facebook – Fan Saifuddin Ismail Ismail YB


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?

Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?

How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfill your role?

Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?

If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?

Do you believe in separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?

For other MP responses, see Full MP list

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10 Responses to “No replies for 1 March 2010 [Updated]”

  1. I was surprised to see The Nut Graph’s posting “No replies for 1 March 2010” which has shown my name as one of the MPs who have not replied to the six questions under MP Watch: Eye on Parliament as of Monday, 1 March 2010, the end of a two-week deadline imposed by the online newspaper.

    Last night, I spoke to Jacqueline Ann Surin, The Nut Graph’s editor, to register my displeasure about such an unfair and unprofessional journalistic practice.

    By putting my name up there, the impression given was that there was no communication between The Nut Graph and myself. But the true representation of the situation is that I had requested for a face-to-face interview and it was scheduled that one Patrick Kratzenstein would interview me at 6pm today (3rd March 2010).

    [With] the competing demands on my time due to [the] Chinese New Year celebrations as well as the ongoing political developments lately, I figured that an interview was more convenient. If only they knew the hectic life of a wakil rakyat.

    Those who follow my writings would know that I have articulated my positions on the listed questions.

    I have since declined to continue my participation in the project. I will articulate my views on the questions through other avenues.

    Liew Chin Tong

  2. @Liew Chin Tong

    Thank you for raising your objections in your phone call last night as well as in the comment that you submitted.

    This is how the MP Watch project is being run. Each of the 222 MPs is being contacted with the same six questions. Each MP is told that there is a two-week timeframe for them to respond. If they choose not to respond or are unable to respond within that timeframe, we publish that they were unable to respond within a two-week period. This is made clear from the very beginning and during the reminder phone calls/SMSes to MPs.

    We’ve been told, not just by you, that two weeks isn’t enough because of the competing demands on an MP. We respect that and are aware that especially for Opposition MPs, that could be even more true because Opposition MPs have access to less resources.

    Having said that, however, several MPs, including ministers and those from the Opposition, have responded within the two-week timeframe. There have even been those who despite missing the deadline have submitted their responses nonetheless because The Nut Graph has promised that we will update an MP’s response even after the two-week timeframe as a way to be fair and respectful of the MP’s hectic schedule.

    See, the purpose of the two-week timeframe isn’t just to ensure that the project can proceed smoothly and be wrapped up by a certain time.

    The two-week timeframe is also a measure of an MP’s accesibility. An MP could be inaccessible within a two-week timeframe because s/he is not interested in these issues and doesn’t want to participate. Or an MP could just be really busy attending to other more urgent matters. No matter what the reason, setting a two-week timeframe is one way to gauge how accessible an MP is on key democratic issues in this country.

    The MPs who consider these issues a priority have indeed tried their utmost to answer these questions despite missing their two-week deadline. These MPs demonstrate to us that while they may have other demands, they still consider the MP Watch project an important one from a public education point of view.

    An MP is, of course, completely entitled to not want to participate or to think that it was unfair that we could not be flexible about our two-week deadline and hence to boycott the project. That is the MP’s prerogative and we respect that no MP actually needs to participate in the MP Watch project in order to get their views across.

    Having said that, I think it is also important for our readers to know this. We treat all MPs equally. That means that we follow a particular principle with regards to timeframe, etc and we make sure that they are aware of the project’s consideration right from the beginning.

    I understand that Patrick Kratzenstein first contacted you on 9 Feb 2010, and informed you that the deadline for your response was 1 March. This was a week before Chinese New Year. And the deadline of 1 March, because of the inevitable Chinese New Year holidays in between, was actually a 20-day timeframe instead of the usual 14 days. It was also a week after the one-week Chinese New Year festivities. Additionally, Patrick made sure to send you/your office reminders on 18, 22 and 25 Feb.

    It was only on 1 March, at the end of the 20-day timeframe, that your aide called to fix up a face-to-face interview for 3 March to which Patrick was going to attend to until you cancelled because you felt that we had treated you unfairly.

    The newsroom’s intention isn’t to treat you or any other MP unfairly. Indeed, it is because we are trying to treat each MP the same that we published that you did not respond within the allocated timeframe. To have treated you differently, or made concessions for you alone, would have been unfair to all the other MPs – none of whom have complained about being treated unfairly by the same process. Making a concession for you because of the Chinese New Year break and because of the demands on your time, is, I think, what would constitute us being unprofessional.

    I’m sorry if the impression that was created was that you stonewalled our interne and that your office was unresponsive to the attempts to reach you. That was definitely not the case. And it was certainly not the intention behind publishing that you had not responded by 1 March. Unfortunately, the newsroom cannot control what impressions people have.

    However, we recognise that some people may have gotten the impression that you were uncommunicative. That is why when we spoke last night, I invited you to use the question “Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfill your role?” to explain how much you had wanted to respond by 1 March, and why you were unable to do so.

    Impressions are thankfully not cast in stone, and in the interest of fairness, The Nut Graph would ensure that every MP has their say so that no wrong impression is left uncorrected. You have, however, chosen not to take up this invitation.

    That is unfortunate but we respect your decision especially because we do understand the pressures that an MP faces and the multiple demands that are made on his/her time.

    Please know that should you change your mind, we would still be happy to update your responses, bearing in mind of course, that no MP needs to participate in a project such as MP Watch in order to continue being effective and accessible to voters.

    Jacqueline Ann Surin
    Editor
    The Nut Graph

  3. Au Yong Mun Bong says:

    Liew Chin Tong,
    If you have articulated your positions on the listed questions,it would have been so easy to reply accordingly. Please do not give excuses. Time spent to draft the excuse could be used to answer the questions. Time is important to everyone, not only to you alone.

  4. die says:

    @Liew Chin Tong

    I have ten girlfriends to handle everyday, yet i still have time to comment on this colum. The key word is “Time Management”. You are lacking it. Stop whining.

  5. Sean says:

    I think it was better when it was only disappointing.

  6. Lainie says:

    I have to say I found Liew Chin Tong’s comment here very misleading; coupled with the non-reply, I have to say I’m very disappointed with his overall handling of this.

  7. pkunkish says:

    Come on, @Liew Chin Tong. You’re proving TNG’s point exactly, that you can’t even take 20 minutes out of your day to provide short answers to six questions that you admittedly already have opinions about. At the very least, provide one-sentence responses as some MPs have, or copy and pastelah! You’re proving that you’re not accessible as an MP, and honestly, your response here sounds petulant. Shame, shame.

  8. Liyana D. says:

    Dear Liew Chin Tong,

    As a rakyat reader, it’s a shame to know that your only participation in this interesting project will be that comment.

    I feel it speaks volumes about which demands on your time you find competent. But it is the impression you chose to make, and as the editor has stated, it is your prerogative.

    Should you change your mind, I look forward to the next impression you choose to make.

  9. Farah says:

    I am very disappointed with the way some of the more distinguished MPs, from the opposition especially, have handled this whole MP Watch project.

    At the time this project was announced, I recall my friends and I getting quite excited to see the results. We even made a bet that surely the earliest to send in their answers would be our favourites and the most high-flying opposition MPs like Nurul Izzah, Tony Pua, Liew Chin Tong, Saifuddin Nasution, Dzulkefly, Khalid Samad and a few others who were very vocal in the last parliamentary sessions post 2008, and who are very active in their individual blogs.

    Nurul Izzah and Dr Dzul have proven they are still our favourites. But to see a comment like that by Chin Tong was not only misleading but also very disappointing.

    And now we have come to see that the likes of several veteran DAP MPs such as Kit Siang and Karpal Singh have not responded to the project. There was even one commenter who stated that such leaders are not expected to participate in such a “minute and insignificant” project because they have reached a perceived stature in politics, and that they are way too busy. And then this commenter deflected the issue back to TNG for having asked these “supremos” to attend to these six questions posed, stating that surely the answers are obvious from these leaders’ blogs.

    For God’s sake, that is not the issue! Each forum differs, and while these leaders can write as much as they want on the exact same issues on their personal blog, they remain just that: their personal reflections.

    But to participate in this project, something that is sought by a small group of journalists whom I must commend for having the courage and creativity to embark on one like this, they add a different element to it – accountability, i.e. responsibility for each answer given.

    Surely all these MPs are aware of this. As minute as it may seem, it is always these little things that reflect the true colours of our elected leaders. Tony Pua, Kit Siang and Khalid Samad can hold press conferences every single day at the time parliamentary session is on, and while they can answer all questions to obtain coverage by the giant mainstream groups of reporters, [yet] it is deemed not necessary for them to allocate just a few minutes to answer only six questions by a small alternative media website.

    Then to become angry when “No Reply” is put up, and validate their omissions with all kind of reasons … that says a lot of who they are or who they will become if they ever sit in Putrajaya.


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