Press Statement by Speaker of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly, Hannah Yeoh
29 November 2013
Selangor State Legislative Assembly Moves to Cast Reforms in Stone
During this 3rd sitting for the 2013 term of the 13th Selangor State Legislative Assembly, the Speaker via the Standing Orders Committee has put forward 2 key proposals to the Assembly aimed at protecting the transparency and the accountability of its members toward voters and the people of Selangor.
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.
The first proposal is that this feature is 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 suffcient funds annually to enable a live broadcast.
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.
The second proposal here is again 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 infuential Public Accounts Committee.
The proposals 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 are now casting in stone the reforms that were made so that these reforms no longer remain simply as good and noble practices, but enshrined as law.