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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Job function of a Member of Parliament

I will first use a commercial or industrial corporation as an example as that is what most people can relate to the easiest.

Each job has its function, or job description or whatever you call it. Essentially, it defines what each person holding the job is supposed to do. A janitor's job function is just to keep a place clean and tidy and no more. At the other end is a member of a board of director whose duties are to attend board of directors meetings, discuss, make policy and other very important decisions, and set the direction in which the company is to go. These decisions made by the board of directors are very important and can either set a company to great success or send it to bankruptcy. Because their job function is so important, they are normally very highly paid. A member of board of directors does not stoop down so low as to go do the job of a janitor. They have different job functions.

Similarly, Members or Parliament are like members of the board of directors of a very huge company. In this case, the company is the country. What they do in the Parliament can make a country great or send it down the gutters. Their most important job is in the Parliament, not taking care of clogged drains and pot holes. These are jobs for the City Halls or Municipality Councils. These are important, but more important are crucial issues that affect the future of the country. These matters can only be settled in the Parliament.

One more important thing. When a Member of Parliament first enters the Parliament, he or she has to make an oath to uphold, defend and preserve the Constitution. The Constitution of a country is its supreme law and is a sacred document. It is not meant to be amended just so someone, for example, the Chairman of an Election Commission, can continue to serve another term.

Now in this coming election, when you cast your vote, you must keep these in mind. You must see if the candidate, if he or she was the former Member of Parliament, have he or she fulfilled that most important job function and have uphold, defend and preserve the Constitution, something which he or she had taken an oath to do. For greater details, refer to Interview with Billi Lim, independent candidate for Kelana Jaya (click BACK button to get back to this page). How many times our Constitution had been amended was discussed in that post. In another post Haris Ibrahim's speech at the SS2 Petaling Jaya ceramah (click BACK button to get back to this page), Haris said "BN (Barisan Nasional) has been dismantling our document (Constitution) systematically. In the process, taken away our rights. In the process, taking away our Constitutional Institutions.

The statement below was taken from PJ Utara: A choice between local service and parliamentary voice:

Chew (Chew Mei Fun) remains unperturbed by Opposition claims that she is more concerned about drains than speaking up on her constituents’ behalf in parliament. “They can say things which sound very ideal but in the end can they deliver?” she says. “I believe that with hard work and my track record, I have set a strong foundation and the support for me is there.”

The question we need to ask ourselves is, what Chew Mei Fun did when all those bills to amend the Constitution were tabled at the Parliament. Did she take into the consideration of whether her Constituent wants it? What about the future of the country? Deliver? Deliver what? Do we want better roads and drains or a better future for the country? Roads and drains can only last so long. What happens after that? Malaysia had been blessed with oil and plantations and thus had been cushioned from the flawed policies that can bring ruin to the economy. What happens when we run out of oil? I asked this to a person who claimed to be an assistant of our caretaker Deputy Prime Minister. His answer - "we will cross the bridge when we come to it." Can we afford that? Is that the way to run a country. Solve a problem only when we are faced with it? Is not wiser to take that into account when we make long term plans for the country?

The Barisan Members of Parliament are all allocated millions of ringgits to spend on their Constituent. The opposition Members of Parliament are given none. Is that fair?

We have to ask ourselves, which is more important - the future of the country, the reputation and independence of the Judiciary, or the roads and drains? When we have a problem which can only be solved in the court, we want to go to a court where we have confidence the judge's decision will be based on the Constitution and on the law. Do we have that? I do not know. But I have heard that when foreign investors draw up contracts, they specify that disputes should be settled in Singapore or United Kingdom. True or not I do not know. You will have to do your own research.

Think very hard these few days before polling date when we cast our vote. Vote for the candidate who will uphold, defend and preserve our Constitution and not let it be amended to suit the political situation.

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