theSun: Deputy Speaker – Clear separation of powers ‘illusionary’

This article was reproduced from theSun’s report (written by Alyaa Alhadjri) published on 10 July 2012 found here. UndiMsia!’s flagship #IdolaDemokrasi maps out (via its #BigPicture analysis) and resonates a similar critique as that of the Deputy Speaker, and further calls for legal reforms to the Malaysian Constitution to entrench ‘real’ separation of powers in our nation’s governing system.

KUALA LUMPUR (July 10, 2012): A clear separation of powers between the executive and legislative arm of the state is an “illusionary” concept under the Westminster system which Malaysia inherited from its colonial masters, said Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He admitted that under the present system, the ruling party is in a dominant position to “control” the speaker and the house.

“When politics started coming into Parliament, politicians no longer speak based on their conscience, but based on their party manifesto,” Wan Junaidi told about 20 law students who were visiting the Dewan Negara.

“Existing parliamentary powers as provided under the law, such as the Bill of Rights in England, were eroded due to dictation of political parties in power,” he said.

He said the prime minister and members of the cabinet also yield significant influence over decisions made in the House by “twisting their (MPs) arm through the whip”.

“Therefore, it is very much the power of the executive to rule Parliament, rather than the Parliament by itself to rule the country,” he added.

Wan Junaidi was earlier asked by one of the students whether the ‘separation of power’ concept was a realistic practice within the country’s administration or merely an ideal.

On separation of powers between the executive and judiciary, Wan Junaidi said the line is also blurred as the prime minister has a say in the appointment of judges, despite the actual process being carried out by the Judicial Appointment Commission.

However, he stressed that this was not tantamount to direct “interference” by the executive into the judiciary and there has not been any evidence to prove any such claims made by certain parties.

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Posted on 12 July 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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