Was the first live session of Parliament also their last one?

There are mixed reactions over what happened in the live telecast we had on the Parliamentary sitting on Wednesday. Most of the MPs would prefer that the live telecast stays. But there are a few who feel that the live telecast is what is causing havoc and trouble in the august house.

Once is enough for Shabery

BIDOR: There may be no more live telecast of Parliament proceedings because Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek will propose to the Cabinet today to stop such broadcasts.

He said it was clear from Wednesday’s sitting that the MPs were only putting on a show because after the cameras were switched off, “proceedings went on as normal”.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Idris Harun supported Ahmad Shabery’s proposal to scrap live telecasts.

Transport Minister and Pandan MP Datuk Ong Tee Keat said the fact that there was such a ruckus in the House was a waste of public funds and time.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the Parliament was not up to mark and some of the MPs were abusing the point of order just to interrupt the proceeding.

Deputy Information Minister Datuk Tan Lian Hoe said they did not expect the session to turn out like that.

Full article here.

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PM: Cancel telecast in Dewan Rakyat

KUWAIT: The Prime Minister said he was ashamed at what had transpired in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday and agreed that live telecast of the proceedings should be scrapped.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he was in the Dewan at the time, adding what happened was just “too much.”

He said the question of transparency of what went on during proceedings should not arise because sessions were open to all, noting that the media was free to cover the proceedings and report on whatever happened.

The public, too, were free to come to the Dewan to follow the proceedings, he added.

Full article here.

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MPs don’t want to end broadcasts

PETALING JAYA: The telecasts must continue – that is the consensus of many MPs, be they from the Barisan Nasional or the Opposition, or minister or backbencher.

Even Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Government must be flexible on the issue as it was too early to make a judgement on the telecast.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said live telecasts should continue as currently it is only a trial period.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister and Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Samad said the experiment of using live telecasts should continue to “see what happens”.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said the move to broadcast parliament proceedings live was not only to show who was asking questions but also for answers to be made known to the people.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen was all for the live telecast to continue to show the public how the MPs behaved in the House.

The Raub MP said it was important for people to know how their MPs were working for their benefit.

Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong said any decision to scrap live telecasts should not be based on just one sitting while Deputy Higher Education Minister and Kluang MP Dr Hou Kok Chung said the first day of Parliament would be messy.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department K. Devamany said the live telecasts should continue as the public would like to know where issues were discussed in Parliament.

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman and Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said the live telecast should go on for at least one more day. “Let’s try again. Monday should be the last chance. If the mindset of MPs from both sides do not change, then we should not continue with it,” he said.

Marang MP Nasharuddin Mat Isa said live telecasts should not only continue but be extended from 30 minutes to “at least an hour, if not throughout the day”.

Machang MP Saifuddin Nasution, who is from PKR, said MPs “misbehaving” should not be the sole reason for the Information Ministry reconsidering live telecasts.

PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat called for a comprehensive live telecast of Parliament so the people could judge for themselves the performance of their elected representatives.

Full article here.

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So, there are now two sides, one wanting the show to continue, and one wanting it to be scrapped totally. To be honest, I never knew that Parliamentary sessions were open to everyone. I thought you had to be a member of the press to be in there during the sessions. Looks like I have to brush up on my general knowledge.

I guess what Pak Lah is saying is right in a way. If the people are interested enough, they can always go sit in during the sessions. The reporters don’t really matter much to the public anymore, seeing as how they regard the papers nowadays.

But it’s not only Selangor and Kuala Lumpur folk who are interested in the goings on in the august house. That’s why it was suggested that they telecast the sessions live in the first place. So that everyone who would want to know about the discussions would be able to tune in.

I think the general sentiment of wanting to keep the telecasts is strong enough. If they scrap the whole thing only because of what happened during the first live telecast, then they’re being too rash. I’m not saying that the MPs should be given a second chance to “perform”, because what they did during that session can in no way be called exemplary.

No. The live telecasts are for the people. We want to know what you parliamentarians are doing. Because we are the people who put you up there. We want to see if we have made the right choices. Don’t do away with this chance that has been given to us to get to know the system a little better.

The show must go on.


2 Comments on “Was the first live session of Parliament also their last one?”

  1. J. A. Carizo says:

    Telecasts of sessions of the parliament are a way for the people, even the ordinary citizens, to see what their elected officials are doing. This is also a way for taxpayers to validate whether their money is being spent wisely for the salary of the MPs. And of course, the live telecasts are also a way to help the people in formulating their own opinions to the laws that affects them. Thus, the live telecasts should be continued and what had been started should not be the first and the last.

  2. SJ says:

    YEAH!!! The show must go on!

    There is no way we can turn back to the dark ages when the traditional media was the main feeder of news from the parliament. We have already read of the name callings, we want to see it for ourselves whether it is true!


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