KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim has suggested that a code of ethics for elected representatives be introduced to members of Parliament and assemblymen to make them respected and exemplary leaders.
In his writing in the Journal of the Malaysian Parliament entitled ‘Etika Legislatif untuk Wakil Rakyat’ (Legislative Ethics for Elected Representatives), he said the code of ethics was also important to ‘control’ and ‘discipline’ elected representatives when taking part in debate sessions.
Rais said since Parliament is a place where the country’s leaders are born, members must also consist of those with qualified academic qualifications and are well mannered.
However, he said, in reality and based on the Parliament Hansard, the behavior, speech and debating style of elected representatives in the Malaysian Parliament was moving backward, he said, referring to the speech by three MPs who used offensive language in 2018.
Therefore, Rais said changes in internal and external legislative work should be initiated, including the introduction of a code of ethics for the elected representatives that can be enforced in accordance with the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952 (Act 347) or through the setting up of a special committee under Dewan Rakyat, Dewan Negara or state legislative assemblies.
For Dewan Negara, he said the motion to establish the code of ethics for elected representatives can be made under Standing Order 13 (2) 31 of the Senate.
Rais also suggested that training courses be given to MPs and assemblymen to ensure that they become elected representatives with integrity and have extensive legal knowledge.
“Make it mandatory for all elected representatives to undergo at least six months of training. Those who are absent must be subject to legislative disciplinary action under Act 347,” he said.