‘ Aye’ to Dewan Negara proposal
> Suggestion to summon ministers’ presence in House lauded
KUALA LUMPUR: Ministers and deputy ministers yesterday welcomed the suggestion for the Dewan Negara to have power to summon ministers.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said it would be better if a minister could respond directly to the House, instead of delegating the task to the deputy minister.
However, he noted there were times ministers were unable to be present and had to delegate the task to their deputies.
“Sometimes, it is unavoidable. It would be better if incidences like this could be avoided and the minister can attend the Dewan Negara sitting,” he said.
theSun reported yesterday that Dewan Negara president Datuk Seri S.A. Vigneswaran intends to introduce a mechanism to allow the Senate to summon ministers to address issues of national interests.
“It is still in planning and discussion. We have to look into the matter based on the requirements of the Dewan Negara,” Vigneswaran was quoted as saying.
Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said any reform that is beneficial to the strengthening of the Dewan Negara should be supported.
However, she noted there are rules already in place for the Senate to call up ministers in answering to the House.
“The rules need to be followed. However, we will support any suggestion that can bring good to us,” she added.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said any suggestion to improve the institution of the Dewan Negara must be made officially in writing.
Azalina, who is also minister in charge of Parliament affairs, declined to elaborate on the matter, saying it would be premature to do so.