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There are several parliamentary procedures that enable Members of Parliament to scrutinise the government administrator.

Firstly is through the process of Select Committee which occur at the Committee Stage during the legislative process. In Malaysia, only Bills that required detailed scrutinise will be send to the Select Committee. By this process the defect in a Bill may be eliminated before it becomes an Act. The committee is allocated specifically to check on the bill thus preventing the Executive from passing any Bills as they please. Through this also, it will ensure accountability of Minister to the Parliament regarding the policies, actions and decisions that they implement. As the checker of Executive, Select Committee may influence ministerial decision to behave well and to make a better decision. However, there are some drawbacks of this process. The membership of Select Committee is the same as in the Dewan Rakyat thus having no neutral in the method of scrutiny as it is just a mini Dewan Rakyat. When it comes to a Bill of a very technical and specialised area, members of Select Committee might have no knowledge on it. To make it worst, members of Select Committee have limited powers to hire experts and called for evidence to supplement their scrutiny process. Besides that, inconsistency of information may occur between the backbenchers, who gain information from the ruling party and opposition party. As the committee cannot compel the government to allow them to interview the subjected Ministers, the Ministers are not required to appear as witnesses and if they attend or allow the interview, they may rely on collective responsibility. Due to shortage of time in Select Committee and to make time for debate session, Parliament will implement a motion to cut short the consideration of the Bill through Guillotine Motion and Kangaroo Motion. Secondly is through the question time that take place during the Second Reading and Committee Stage. Question Time allows the Parliament to check on the activities of the Executive. During this process, Members of Parliament are strictly Nelfi Amiera Mizan Multimedia University

only to asked question and must not make any statement. Alternatively, the Minister will explain the merits and principle of the Bill. At this process the government is formally accountable to the Parliament for its management of notions affairs. The opposition Members of Parliament play an important role here to check on the government. They may question to obtain immediate action on issues where the government fail to know. Besides, they also may leaks government deceit and publicise it to the public. This may trigger the government thus making them to functions properly. However, some defects occur through this process. Foremost, the Dewan will be controlled by a Speaker who holds final authority on the admissibility of question and he might not be neutral. Moreover, due to 2 party systems practised in Malaysia, the composition in Parliament is more towards the ruling government. Thus, during this session, the backbenches will ask question that supports their Minister rather than a killer question. When a question being asked, the Minister may in some ways avoid it through stone walling-delaying tactics, party jibbing and evasion by injecting unnecessary elements to the question. Some also may simply classify the question on ground of public policy or national security. They even find refuge in the convention of collective responsibility where they combine as a unanimous voice. A parliamentary question must be submitted in advance before the Parliaments sits, thus the question will be passed directly to the relevant governmental department and answers will be prepared by the civil servants both for main and anticipated supplementary question. This method will keep the Minister unaware of the fundamental problem as he is not directly involved. During this session also, Parliament applies the rota system where it goes through rotation and limits opportunity to question senior Ministers. There are 2 ways for the Minister to answer question either orally or written form. When Ministers are submitted with a killer question, they will place the question at the bottom during question time and after the parliament adjourns, they have to answer the question by written form. Thirdly is through the debate session that usually occurs at Second Reading and Committee Stage. At this process the Minister who in charge of the Bill is to explain, defend and justifies its policy on what it is doing and why. It also allocated a platform for any parties to express their views on the matter to be Nelfi Amiera Mizan Multimedia University

discussed and scrutinise. The opposition then have the opportunity to point out the weaknesses and propose for an alternative. Thus, through debate it allows the House to have a second look at the provision of the Bill and reconsider on whether to continue its implementation. By debate session also allows important matter to be discussed by the House through Adjournment of Debates which allows the Member of Parliament to apply to the speakers to raise an urgent matter to be debated. Besides, debates also help to educate public opinion by presenting a variety of opinions and remedies for dealing with national concerns. However, government Bills are generally passed without much difficulty. Even constitutional amendments are enacted quite easily. For example, the landmark Constitution (Amendment) Bill 1993 to remove the immunity of the Malay Rulers was introduced in the Dewan Rakyat on Jan 18, 1993, and passed the next day. Dewan Negara endorsed the Bill on Jan 20. Besides, the government uses parliamentary techniques to cut short debating time for instance the closure of motions- the Bill be read for a second time, guillotine-it means that the time taken for debate is effectively guillotine and kangaroo - which means hopping from one clause of a Bill to another. There is also parliamentary time set aside for debating and this is actually done by the government in power in order to make sure that debates are not used as tools or mechanisms to interfere with the smooth running of the House. Emergency debates are viewed as disrupting the parliamentary timetable, hence they are confined only to matters deemed to be of urgent national importance, and applications are sparingly granted. Moreover, the daily adjournment debates might be misused by the opposition or the backbenchers. Instead of coming up with a constructive criticism, the opposition or backbenchers may use the occasion for their own selfish political motive.

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