(Source: parlimen.gov.my) Name: Zuraida Kamaruddin
Party: PKR (Opposition)
Years as MP: Since 2008
Government position: None
PKR Wanita chief
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?
“Keadilan” stands for justice, and when we talk about justice, we cannot escape from talking about the “rule of law”. Everyone in the world must go through the same process of law.
There is no such thing as “detention without trial” — this is not rule of law. I, for one, will not condone such an act. I stand firm that the ISA should be abolished.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
There are five million Muslims living in France. These migrant Muslims are adjusting to life in France, and France as a country is slowly changing to accommodate this change in demography. What is interesting is, why have these migrants left their Islamic countries to settle down in secular France?
Many of these migrant Muslims come from North Africa. France as an advanced democratic country is like heaven [because it] provide[s] a better life for these war- and famine-stricken people.
The question in Malaysia should be, how is the government fulfilling its obligation to the rakyat in the context of the social contract? Why did 21,066 Malaysian citizens opt to change their citizenship to Singaporean from 2000 to 2009? I believe a substantial number among them are Muslims.
How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfill your role?
The people of the Ampang constituency voted for me to serve them using public allocations. As a Member of Parliament, I’m doing just that for my constituency, even without the necessary infrastructure and support. This is the sorry state of our country.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
In the last parliament session, I managed to declassify a report on a landslide tragedy in Bukit Antarabangsa, which is in my constituency. What baffled me is that the government used public funds to investigate the tragedy that affected taxpayers, and yet, the government classified the report under the Official Secrets Act, and refused to publicise it for all to see.
Lives were lost and property damaged, and yet the government failed to realise that the people whom they are supposed to serve have the right to access information vital to their survival. Those victims in Bukit Antarabangsa need that report to move on with their lives.
My electorate [could not] understand the logic behind classifying the report as secret. They asked me, “What is there to hide? We are the victims; we have the right to know!”
In order to avoid anymore inconvenience to the public from excessive secrets, we should support the Freedom of Information Act.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
There are so many things we need to do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.
As Ampang MP, I should be entitled to my constituency’s full allocation in order for my office to efficiently and effectively serve my constituency. As it is now, my constituency has been denied the allocation it is entitled to, because the federal government of the day is not practising parliamentary democracy with MPs who are not from the BN (Barisan Nasional). My constituents are being punished for exercising their right to choose.
Do you believe in separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
Everywhere in the world, politicians preach about check and balance, justice, good governance, etc., to safeguard the interests of people who voted for the government. The people elect a government and give them power to administer the country and to maintain order. In return, the government must follow the rule of law to make sure they don’t overstep their power.
That’s why we have parliamentarians who are the people’s representatives, the cabinet, the civil service, the police, the armed forces and the courts. Each one of them is exclusive to make sure no one oversteps their power in maintaining order in this country.
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