Make parliamentary committee meetings open to the public

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G25 supports the auditor general’s annual report on the financial performance of government agencies to be tabled to the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament for a detailed review so that the public can be made aware of these agencies’ operations, especially their financial performances.

If there are financial losses, the government agencies should give a detailed explanation to the MPs in the committee.

The auditor general is responsible for inspecting how government ministries and agencies spend their budgetary allocations and whether the financial administration complies with the Financial Procedure Act 1957, treasury instructions and the treasury circulars.

When the auditors conducts their review of a ministry’s financial compliance with the procedures, it will also look for the leakages and wastage that result from a lack of proper supervision and accountability.

The auditors will examine whether the head of department should be held accountable for any weakness in management.

The Public Accounts Committee meetings to hear the financial administrations in ministries should be made open to the public so that interested groups from civil society and the media can attend to follow the proceedings as observers.

G25 notes that in the West, parliamentary committee and congressional committee meetings are open to the media when the committees are in session to deliberate on any matter of wide public concern.

The parliamentary select committees’ meetings should be strengthened by making it a practice to invite subject matter experts and professionals from the private sector to give their views and suggestions on matters which require special expertise for explainations.

It is always important for MPs to get as many outside views as possible so that they can get a wider perspective on the issues involved.

Some issues may touch on sensitive matters in our multi-racial and multi-religious society. Therefore, if Parliament or a state legislature is considering a sensitive matter like dress codes, which touch on the personal lifestyles of the people, there should be prior consultation with relevant groups before bringing the matter up in the legislature.

As in other democracies, Malaysia should also adopt this practice of having interested groups participate to give parliamentarians their input and opinions on matters of public interest, which can be done through the relevant parliamentary select committees. – G25

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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