(Updated 6 April 2010, 1:25pm)
BUKIT Gelugor Member of Parliament (MP) Karpal Singh’s response to the MP Watch: Eye on Parliament project, which asks all 222 MPs six questions.
(Source: parlimen.gov.my) Name: Karpal Singh Ram Singh
Constituency: Bukit Gelugor
Party: DAP (Opposition)
Years as MP:
2004-present (Bukit Gelugor)
Government position: None
Membership in parliamentary committees or caucus:
Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee member
Original deadline: 4 Feb 2010
Responses submitted: 10:20am, 5 April 2010
Would you support the abolition/review of the Internal Security Act, in particular the provision that allows for detention without trial?
I support the complete abolishment of the ISA. The question of review, therefore, does not arise. Detention without trial cannot be supported. It is against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
Malaysia is a secular state as provided for in the Federal Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. Islam, as provided for in the constitution, is the religion of the federation, with other religions being allowed to be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the federation. A multireligious and multiracial society requires 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 an elected MP, my role is to give expression to the people’s aspirations without fear or failure. Irrespective of religion, colour or creed, it is my solemn duty to ensure every citizen is accorded what he or she is entitled to pursuant to the provisions of the constitution.
My duty also extends to ensuring that citizens are provided for adequately with proper infrastructure, in point of being able to lead a proper and happy life in surroundings which are proper and adequate.
Unfortunately, Parliament does not provide me the necessary facilities. I have to run my own service centre with a paid clerk and personnel who volunteer their services. Parliament does not provide me backup staff.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
I support a Freedom of Information Act so that citizens can be adequately provided with information which affects their daily lives. The Official Secrets Act 1972 protects government information absolutely and is an affront to the democratic process. The penal consequences and penalties under the Official Secrets Act cannot be justified.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
Parliamentary democracy in Malaysia can be strengthened if there is a two-party system to enable the electorate [to have] a definite choice of the government it would want to be ruled by.
Do you believe in separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
There has to be separation of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary for effective rule of law. Separation of powers among these bodies is provided for in the Federal Constitution.
In particular, the judiciary should be the bastion between the executive and the citizen. Without separation of powers [among the] three arms of government, there cannot be an effective and meaningful democratic institution.
For other MP responses, see Full MP list
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Kong Kek Kuat says
Thank you (and Kit Siang) for going to jail for us, Karpal. You will never be forgotten for your sacrifices.
You have said enough about the ISA. There’s no need for you to justify your stand, or say anything more to people like Snore [above].
One of the better and experienced lawmakers in the Parliament of Malaysia. Would be a great adversary to the Government, and an excellent and fearless watchdog, but, unfortunately, he has to keep up with half past six Parliamentarians from the BN who cannot keep up with the fast moving world. What BN can offer are those from Sri Gading etc. who would not hesitate to make fun of the physical state of Mr Karpal Singh. Low class and it shows the bad upbringing of these BN lawbreakers! The BN lawbreakers are just not able to participate in quality Parliamentary debates, thus, making a fool of our Parliament. Just look at the Parliamentary debates today, sickening! The likes of Ibrahim Katak!
The best responses so far.