February 6, 2023
PETALING JAYA: Lawmakers caught uttering racist, sexist or derogatory terms in Parliament could face a fine of RM1,000 alongside suspensions, says Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Johari Abdul.
Johari said these were some of the mooted Parliamentary reforms given how some MPs used the terms shamelessly, with the slurs even targeted towards the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, as well as other MPs.
“A special select committee will be formed to monitor the behaviour of MPs in Parliament with guidelines also drawn up.
“At present, the provision to fine MPs RM1,000 already exists in the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952, but it has never been applied.
“MPs found violating the Act could also be suspended from attending Parliament up to six months, although this was rarely used by previous Speakers,” he was quoted as saying in Berita Harian.
He said the matter was also discussed with Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, adding that such committees were also present in many other countries.
“In fact, we are even suggesting increasing the fines through amendments towards the Act,” he added.
Other reforms proposed by Johari were that Parliament sessions be adjourned by 8.30pm, and a relaxed dress code for MPs where they are no longer required to wear neck ties during sessions.
He also described parliament sessions that dragged on into the night or even dawn as unproductive, with the exception of urgent matters such as the Budget.
Johari also called for MPs to reduce politicking in the Dewan Rakyat and instead focus on the people.
“We expect MPs with quality as they represent the people, not their parties. If they want to speak about politics, do it outside the hall.
“Their (MPs) salaries and allowances are all paid for by the rakyat. It is also a big amount, so MPs must be fair (to the people),” he was quoted as saying.