(source: parlimen.gov.my)Name: Anwar Ibrahim
Constituency: Permatang Pauh
Party: PKR (Opposition)
Years as MP:
1982-1999 (Permatang Pauh, under Umno)
26 Aug 2008-present (Permatang Pauh, under PKR)
Government post: None
Membership in parliamentary committee 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?
Detention without trial is an abomination that can no longer be tolerated by our people. The ISA has no business being in our statute books anymore. It will be abolished the moment Pakatan Rakyat takes over.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
Muslims are averse to the western notion of secularity because to them it means the public square is naked, void of any space for religion. Malaysia should continue to be a state where the public domain is influenced by the universal values of Islamic religion, particularly justice and equality for all.
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 articulate the rakyat’s concerns, hopes and aspirations in the highest forum mandated by our democracy. My task is to convince my fellow parliamentarians that this nation must rise and fulfil the promises vouchsafed them by the Merdeka Proclamation and the constitution.
Parliament provides me with modest means for my role, in particular as Opposition Leader. Those means ought to be augmented but this is not a pressing concern.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
I would support such an Act because the more informed our citizenry the more likely are they to make enlightened choices in matters that affect their country’s present dire condition and, by extrapolation, its bleak future.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
I would create an Election Commission that is truly free and independent.
Do you believe in separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
The notion of countervailing powers which underlies this separation of powers concept of democratic government is founded on the bedrock truth enunciated by the philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr that “[a person’s] capacity for justice makes democracy possible while his [or her] inclination to injustice makes it necessary”.
In that pithy summary you will find the justification, the necessity even, for the separation of powers that characterises a true democracy. Almost the entire world in the early 21st century is coming around to this bedrock truth.
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