KUALA LUMPUR — Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said has suggested for the Parliamentary Services Act (PSA) to be reinstated as soon as possible.
According to her statement in Facebook, ever since the PSA was repealed, the upkeep of the institution of Parliament not only as a building complex but also as a symbol of democracy was entrusted to the civil service.
“Frankly speaking, my personal experience of being a Deputy Speaker in the Dewan Rakyat has taught me to empathise with the reasons proffered by parliament staffers as to why they remain hesitant or reluctant to the idea of having the PSA reintroduced.
“A parliamentary committee should be allowed to inquire, investigate and report on the possibility of introducing a new legislation where Parliament can truly be autonomous and at the same time, government servants can still take charge of the day-to-day affairs of the Parliament.” she said.
Citing the United Kingdom’s House of Commons the manner it is governed and managed by a group of MPs and others who make up the House of Commons Commission whilst the day to day running of the House is delegated by the Commission to senior officials who form the House of Commons Executive Board.
“The Canadian House of Commons on the other hand has the Board of Internal Economy as the governing body of the House of Commons.
“It makes decisions and provides direction on financial and administrative matters of the House of Commons, specifically concerning its premises, its services, its staff and Members of the House of Commons.” she added.
The Parliament Services Act 1963 (PSA) will also allow Parliament to have its own budget and hire staff, rights which were repealed in 1992.
Last year November, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Pakatan Harapan-Port Dickson) said the PSA, would also allow improvement of service scheme and benefits for parliament staff whose employment was currently placed under the Prime Minister’s Department.