Friday, December 5, 2014

It's done - Reforms cast in stone!

At the press conference with YB Eric Tan (Pandamaran) and YB Noor Hanim (Seri Serdang) both from the Standing Orders Committee after the Assembly approved the amendments to the Standing Orders.

Press Statement dated 5 December 2014

It's done - Reforms cast in stone!

The Selangor State Legislative Assembly has approved 3 key proposals by the Standing Orders Committee chaired by the Speaker aimed at protecting the transparency and the accountability of its members toward voters and the people of Selangor.

Our Standing Orders have been amended to incorporate the followings:-

(1) Live broadcast - Since 2008, the proceedings of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly have been broadcasted in its entirety live on the web. This was a big step forward in improving the accessibility of the State Legislative Assembly to the people. This feature is now made mandatory by including into the Standing Orders (‘Peraturan Tetap’) of the Assembly a requirement for a live web or television broadcast of every sitting. This effectively compels the State Government of the day to set aside sufficient funds annually to enable a live broadcast.

(2) Compulsory for Public Accounts Committee to be chaired by Opposition Leader - Selangor had previously, on two separate instances for the 12th and 13th Selangor State Legislative Assembly, broke new grounds in our local legislative practice but in keeping with international practice offered the position of Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee to the Leader of the Opposition. But on both instances, the offer was turned down. We have now amended our Standing Orders to make it mandatory for the Public Accounts Committee to be chaired by the Leader of the Opposition. The role of the Opposition cannot be taken for granted as an effective check and balance in any legislative assembly and as such there should be no discretion in his appointment to chair the influential Public Accounts Committee.

(3) Government's response to Select Committees' Reports - the Assembly now has 10 active Select Committees. These Select Committees conduct enquiries on issues pertaining to the state administration and their reports are tabled, debated and approved by the House. The Standing Orders have been amended to make it compulsory for the State Government to report to the State Assembly on actions taken on the findings and recommendations of these Select Committees. The Executive must be accountable to the Legislative.

The amendments above serve to bind the present and future state governments to a system of governance that is not subject to the whims and fancies of the government of the day or even the Speaker of the day. 

We have now cast in stone the reforms that were made so that these reforms no longer remain simply as good and noble practices, but enshrined as law.

Hannah Yeoh
Speaker of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly
Chairman of the Standing Orders Committee

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