Updated on 2 April 2010, 3:30pm
(source: parlimen.gov.my)Name: Saravanan Murugan
Years as MP: Since 2008
Federal Territories chief
Federal Territories deputy minister
Membership in parliamentary committees or caucuses: N/A
Original deadline: 24 March 2010
Responses submitted: 11:40am, 1 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?
I won’t support the abolition of ISA, but I would support a review. A review should ensure that the Act doesn’t threaten or curb people’s freedom of speech. At the same time, too much freedom of speech is not good for the country. The ISA must be reviewed but not abolished.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
Malaysia has always been a secular state. It cannot be an Islamic state because we have to respect other races and religions. Our success is based on our unity. We have enjoyed our unity based on being a secular 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 lawmakers, we debate and discuss how to have a better Malaysia for everyone with law and order. Parliament is the forum for me to give my views and opinions for the government to do better.
As an MP, it is my duty to my constituency to bring about fair distribution of wealth, and better development for the people. It is the duty of MPs to bring about changes in our constituency for the people who have elected us.
I think Parliament is giving us enough support. MPs are getting the assistance they need.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
You cannot deny anyone their freedom of information in today’s borderless world, where more and more people want a policy of openness. But if it involves the country’s security and safety, we should restrict such information. Other than that, on the day-to-day running of government, I think every citizen must know what’s going on.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
I would enforce stricter rules on MPs’ conduct. Because we represent the 27 million people of this country, we should be role models. MPs should realise that as elected representatives, they should behave. Watch what we say, how we speak, and how we behave. Not come to Parliament and behave like clowns. Decorum must be maintained.
Do you believe in separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
Of course. We have been practising this for a long time and it has been successful. The western world created its middle-class society in over 200 years, but in Malaysia we achieved this within 50 years. We did this by maintaining the separation of powers. We still have room for improvement, though.
For other MP responses, see Full MP list
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