PETALING JAYA: The telecasts must continue – that is the consensus of many MPs, be they from the Barisan Nasional or the Opposition, or minister or backbencher.
They said Wednesday’s “circus” in the august House should not result in live telecasts of proceedings being scrapped.
Even Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Government must be flexible on the issue as it was too early to make a judgement on the telecast.
“I feel the Government should determine if this is a first day phenomenon or if it will continue,” he said at a news conference in Kuching yesterday.
Wan Junaidi, who does not agree that the live telecast be reviewed, said the parliament session had just began and there was a possibility that the attitudes of the members would change in the coming sittings.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said live telecasts should continue as currently it is only a trial period. He said he was, however, disappointed with the Opposition for playing to the gallery.
“I don’t think the electorate voted in clowns and comedians to turn Parliament into a circus,” said Nazri, who is in charge of parliamentary affairs.
On Wednesday, the Dewan Rakyat’s Question Time which was being broadcast live for the first time in history was delayed by more than 30 minutes because of bickering over procedural matters and arguments over trivial issues.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister and Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Samad said the experiment of using live telecasts should continue to “see what happens”.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said the move to broadcast parliament proceedings live was not only to show who was asking questions but also for answers to be made known to the people.
“If the live telecast continues to show the MP’s rowdy behaviour, it defeats the purpose of doing so,” said the Pasir Gudang MP.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen was all for the live telecast to continue to show the public how the MPs behaved in the House.
The Raub MP said it was important for people to know how their MPs were working for their benefit.
Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong said any decision to scrap live telecasts should not be based on just one sitting while Deputy Higher Education Minister and Kluang MP Dr Hou Kok Chung said the first day of Parliament would be messy.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department K. Devamany said the live telecasts should continue as the public would like to know where issues were discussed in Parliament.
He said Wednesday was not exactly what Parliament was all about and the Opposition had gone too far to prove that they were noisemakers.
Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman and Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said the live telecast should go on for at least one more day. “Let’s try again. Monday should be the last chance. If the mindset of MPs from both sides do not change, then we should not continue with it,” he said.
Marang MP Nasharuddin Mat Isa said live telecasts should not only continue but be extended from 30 minutes to “at least an hour, if not throughout the day”.
“Personally, I don’t agree with what happened. I think it won’t happen again in the next proceeding. It was sparked off by the Speaker not allowing supplementary questions, which was unprecedented in Malaysia’s history.”
Machang MP Saifuddin Nasution, who is from PKR, said MPs “misbehaving” should not be the sole reason for the Information Ministry reconsidering live telecasts.
PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat called for a comprehensive live telecast of Parliament so the people could judge for themselves the performance of their elected representatives.
I have something to write about Nazri Aziz, a figure in UMNO, shared by friends. I am trying to rephrase in the best possible langguage. I probably use Bahasa Melayu, where just to describe one particular action, various words can be chosen; sepak, terajang, tendang, tujah, bedek, tui, tuju, hayun dan ada lagi. The next posting.