YB Wong Chen
Reform the Parliamentary Voting System!
I am having a breakfast meeting with YB Darell Leiking, YB Sim Tong Him and my intern Kevin. We are still talking about the vote event last night. I note many angry comments about the no show of many MPs from the Opposition. In light of the very close vote last night, I can fully understand the extra anger.
We are all adults. We all took an oath to serve the rakyat and Parliament. If MPs decide not to turn up they should be accountable to their own constituents. To be fair, some may have valid excuses for their absence.
However I am fully aware that people are fed up with the state of politics in Malaysia. Politicians from both sides are failing the expectations of the public. This unhappiness has to do with the lack of transparency of government and the rise of spin politics.
To address this growing unhappiness, it is high time for Parliament to publish a daily attendance list. It is also high time for the vote count to be fully transparent.
Currently MPs are asked by a designated counting agent how they will vote. These votes are then tabulated by block and handwritten on a sheet of paper. The papers of all the blocks are then collated into a final number. We have no access to these papers. Other than your immediate MPs seated next to you, you will not know who voted which way. In the case of yesterday’s vote, the two PAS leaders that abstained sit right in front of me. After every important vote, I get reporters asking me for a detailed list, a list which I have no access to.
Therefore we must reform the voting system. The best way is to read out the name of every MP and ask them to individually state their position. This event should also be televised. If the vote count becomes fully transparently, I am certain attendance of MPs will improve dramatically!