Petaling MP Maria Chin proposes 14 parliamentary select committees

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Maria Chin Abdullah, a Petaling MP, has suggested the establishment of 14 parliamentary special select committees to enhance supervision of government issues and operations.

She said in a Merdeka Day message that the idea had garnered support from 56 other MPs, including Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, who felt the committees would facilitate decision-making.

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She explained that these parliamentary special select committees will assist Members of Parliament in making sound judgments and evaluating the effect of policies and legislation. It places people and evidence at the center of decision-making, such as when assessing poverty — whether the multi-dimensional poverty assessment considers all relevant factors or omits critical factors such as childcare or excludes gender-sensitive scrutiny that considers inequalities faced by women.

According to the former co-chair of the Bersih 2.0 Coalition, the proposed PSCs should cover the following: Sabah and Sarawak Affairs; Religious Affairs; Foreign Affairs; Environment and Water; Energy and Natural Resources; Transport; Housing and Local Government; Federal Territories; Human Resources; Communications, Multimedia, and Press Freedom; Youth and Sports; Tourism, Arts, and Culture; National Unity; and Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives.

She also hoped that Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government will reinstate the prime minister’s question time, which was instituted by the Pakatan Harapan administration to allow the PM to personally answer to MPs’ queries.

Maria Chin also urged the institutionalization of debates on different findings, including those from the Human Rights Commission, Election Commission, National Audit Department, and Public Accounts Committee.

She added that this is also an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to gender equality by establishing a gender sensitive parliament that incorporates gender sensitivity into policies and legislation that adhere to international standards and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). She also expressed optimism that the government will protect press freedom and recommended that house ownership programs be extended until 2025, since young people continue to struggle to become homeowners as the economy continues to suffer from the pandemic.

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