More live Parliament please! May 2, 2008Posted by elizabethwong in Democracy, Malaysia, Politics.
Like many, I too tuned into the first live broadcast of Parliament. My greatest disappointment was not the vitriolic exchanges, but that it was too short!
For those who are regulars there, Wednesday morning was considered a tame affair – now that the tag-team of the ‘3 stooges’ – Sri Gading, Jasin and Kinabatangan – has been broken up. Incumbent MPs together with cabinet ministers who had feigned ‘shock-horror’ only demonstrated how removed they were from regular proceedings i.e. they weren’t regular attendees.
So on Wednesday, the one who shone was Azmin Ali (PKR – Gombak), whose tone was measured and calm. No monkey business there. The rest who were yelling (the worst of them being the frog who can change colours, for asking a wheelchair-bound man to stand up!?) – well, that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
I am however mildly amused by the media reaction – it’s not as if they’ve not seen this before and more. In fact, those sensational exchanges are the ones that get column inches, squeezing out, for example, speeches on agricultural innovation or debates on workers rights.
Now Shabeery Cheek wants to cancel the live broadcast.
Why lar? Is it because the embarrassing performance of the deputy chief of the Backbenches Club (Umno) who has a knack of opening his mouth and offending someone simultaneously? Whatever happened to the public’s right to know how Parliament sessions are conducted?
Coincidentally, there have been suggestions floating around that more people are keen to observe politics, since March 8, 2008, using the sales of newspapers as a benchmark. Live Parliament sessions should be the norm, not the exception.The more the rakyat observe, the more they can form an opinion on issues, and over time, find ways and means to participate in the political process, apart from merely casting one’s vote every 5 years or so.
Now, isn’t that a good thing, Mr. Minister?