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More live Parliament please! May 2, 2008

Posted 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?



1. Bob K - May 2, 2008

To the minister, it obviously isn’t 😛

2. Esbi - May 2, 2008

I strongly urge our Malaysian MPs to watch the parliamentary sessions in Westminster, especially during the Prime Minister’s Question and Answer sessions, which occur every Wednesday afternoon when the British parliament is in session. The debates and questions are tough but non-personal, professional and sharp. These MPs must realize that they are Yang Berhormats, so they must treat each other with respect and dignity. You are attacking the message not the messenger.

3. w h Chaandani - May 2, 2008

Dear Elizebeth,
I am homemaker who like a majority of Malaysians can’t wait to read the headlines of the morning papers. Since March 8th I too have have been reading the news avaliable on the internet. I like your blog very much.Its well written and most importantly your words are a reflection of your upbringing – cultured and decent. However I am dismayed at the language I find in some of the blogs. For eg., one newly elected MP, whose claim to fame as the first Blogger MP, describes ……watching all the old ****(a crude four letter word describing a certain male anatomy)on his 1st day in Parliment,is totally uncalled for. He must understand that his words are read by the younger generation who would think its okay to pepper their daily conversation with such language.After all if an elected representatative does it, why can’t they? Eli this is the first time I had left a msg.on a blog, I will also try to do the same with that chap. If you do bump into him as you go about doing your good work pls relay this message to him from me, MIND YOUR LANGUAGE!

4. din - May 2, 2008

i share your view.

5. prussiablue - May 2, 2008

People need to know the type of MP they voted in. If you find your MP not performing or too crude for your taste, then exercise your right in the next poll. But if our information taiko were to take away this window of opportunity, how would we the rakyat, assess our MP?

I also think the exchanges are nothing to shout about, very common in our Parliament. Of course certain individuals are playing to the camera but if the broadcast becomes daily, eventually things we be back to normal. And by normal I mean all the BN kaki will not bother to turn up!!!

6. temenggong - May 2, 2008

Dear Channdani,

Welcome to the colorful world of blogs. This is the real world and real expressive language is used! We truly ‘communicate’!!

There is no need to tell that blogger anything. It is you that has to get used to the real world. And, yes, youngsters use the same language. Wakey, wakey!

7. sandyow - May 2, 2008

the MPs are elected to speak for the people. Not to discuss minute issues and act like schoolchildren in a debate.

Parliament is not a joke and its not a place for your 15 minutes of fame on tv.

To those MPs who are making a scene, opposition or barisan grow up!

8. Mantise - May 2, 2008

The PM said he was’ ashamed’ of what happened during Dewan Rakyat, I think he should make public he is also very ashamed of all the corruption,unfair justice,cover- ups,unnecessary jet plane purchase for own use,racism despite 50 yrs of indep,the list goes on…………..
The bickering in Dew Rakyat is nothing new and no big shame, we Malaysian are more matured than he thinks, and now he wants to rob us of a chance to see our elected MP , this is truly a ‘shame’

9. Suhaimi Bin Abdul Wahab - May 2, 2008


10. din - May 2, 2008

our parliment scene is uniquely malaysian.i loved it.it is like phua chui kang,only a little more serious.what is there to be ashamed of? this is the 21st century,anything goes.let us accept n enjoy.that barisan MP bung can easilly be the star joker of the day. my respect to Azmin for the way in whice he present himself.i am dying to see the young n new MPs talk in parliment.we should have full time coverage of the session.cheers to the new malaysia!!!

11. MysteryVitara - May 2, 2008

Dear YB Eli,

Yup. I was extremely disappointed when I turned on the TV that morning, and what I see is one Professor lady giving commentary. Who gives a shit what the lady has to say. What we want to see is the actual parliamentary debates. There are plenty of blogs/newspaper for commentaries later. Just show the debates live with no interruption.

I also love the name calling and table thumping. And Lim Kit Siang was at his best when he slammed the speaker for not allowing supplementary questions. Let it be shown live warts and all. Let the people be the judge.

Somehow I believe, this Shabery Cheek and BN was never sincere about having this new open and transparent media. I think the heat is too much and they are wilting. Much tougher questions to come and Abdullah Badawi and BN are scared shitless.

If they cancel the live telecast, what the Pakatan Rakyat can do is to have the states under PR to webcast live the Dewan Negeri debates. Just simple camera connected to internet. Please inform us of the debate times on your blog. I’m sure there will be much entertainment and suspense as the BN folks are grilled as to “wang lesap” in Balkis and state allocations. Also this Balkis money is kacang putih money only la. A lot of hoo haa oledi. I’m sure this is only the tip of a big iceberg.

12. Samuel Goh Kim Eng - May 2, 2008

Let the live telecast continue to serve as a mirror
To let all the “Big Mouths” see their own horror
What kind of “elected heros” turned into terror
Did the voters really make any careless serious error?

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 020508
Fri. 2nd May 2008.

13. phillix - May 2, 2008

there were a lot of moments uncalled for in the parliamentary session on tv. should be rated pg18. so much violence.

mysteryvitala, i think you fail to see the implications of broadcasting it live. they act like monkeys. is this what our young ones should see? and be turned bitter against the malaysian political scene?

14. phillix - May 2, 2008

what i’m trying to say is, there’s two sides to a coin. don’t keep your eyes only on one.

15. sandyow - May 2, 2008


“Somehow I believe, this Shabery Cheek and BN was never sincere about having this new open and transparent media. I think the heat is too much and they are wilting. Much tougher questions to come and Abdullah Badawi and BN are scared shitless”

Hmm…. In my humble opinion, if they were scared shitless, they wouldn even have approved the telecasts in the first place. So what’s your basis of making that assumption? And who are we to question their “sincerity” i wonder.

16. shawn - May 3, 2008

We want to see the real deal, not some people acting likes animal in the zoo. My gosh! Do take parliment seriously.

17. fucai - May 5, 2008

not only BN MP must behave, PAKATAN RAKYAT MP like Kapal Singh,
and his son should behave also.
Dont over acting!!
I was totally shocked to hear fr Kapal /s mouth that his heated arguement with Bong inside the parliment was just part of the game

18. MysteryVitara - May 8, 2008

Phillix the Ostrich,

I believe the “young ones” (those who are eligible) to vote should/must see what goes on in the parliament. If the conduct of our MP’s are shameful, then it is for us to rectify by not re-electing then in the next elections. No need to be scared and bury our heads in the sand.


My take on it is that the BN government is afraid of transparency and openness. Transparency is like shining a big bright light in a dark alley. All the rats and roaches scurry when bright light is shined on them. BN has lots of secrets and it wants to remain in the dark. (Eg: secret highway concession, secret water agreement, secret IPP agreement, secret defence spending etc.) After the March 8th tsunami, BN is trying to anticipate and preempt Pakatan Rakyat, hence the live telecast of parliament. Sincerity is reflected in your actions. After only one live telecast of less than 30 minutes, Shabery Cheek wants to cancel. Yup … I can see his sincerity.

19. samx - May 9, 2008

Please don’t go the way of Taiwan parliamentarians. Ha!

Malalysia Parliament Live should be more educational and fun than the
FA Cup Live. So, MPs – be yourselves. We want to know the real you.

20. Soon Kiat - May 9, 2008

Well, this is not something very unusual for me, in fact the only unusual is those opposition ( PAKATAN) MPs has more comrades to support the battle, they are not ‘alone’ now.

I recalled the parliment session I visited in 1995 where I was shocked and disappointed by the real face of our Parliment session, reflecting the real political scenario of our nation. Those poor opposition MPs were attacked and humiliated by those barbaric BN MPs without reasoning just because they have the least numbers.

Just continue the broadcast, Mr. Information@Shabery Cheek, the session will improved gradually and we are mature enough to judge the broadcast, mind your business!

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