(Petaling Jaya, Monday):
advent of Internet should usher in greater
democratisation with more openness and transparency in the process of government
from the enhancement of information
flow between the government and the citizen but this is not the case in
Malaysian Parliament, for instance, should be the pioneer for
e-democracy in the past five years with its parliamentary homepage but
instead it was a “wet blanket”
in having a website that must rate as an abysmal disgrace among Commonwealth
Parliaments have been experimenting
with live webcast of parliamentary debates making their proceedings directly
accessible to their citizens on the Internet, but in Malaysia, the only
parliamentary innovation in this respect is the direct live video link
of Parliament to the Putrajaya office of the Prime Minister, who hardly
uses it as he is even out of the country during parliamentary meetings.
the United Kingdom, proposals have been made that all new laws should be debated
on the Internet before they go through the House of Commons, but in Malaysia,
the Parliamentary homepage does not have a single parliamentary act or bill
after more than five years of existence.
the end of January this year, I had called for a total revamp of the
Parliamentary homepage as it was a
disgraceful advertisement of Malaysia’s Information Technology (IT) ambitions
for more than five years or it
should be taken down altogether.
was an immediate response from the Speaker, Tan Sri Mohamad Zahir Ismail, who
told Nanyang Siang Pao (29th
Jan. 2001) that he took a serious view of the criticisms and that the matter
would be dealt with by the webmaster of the Parliamentary homepage.
only change to date is a third face-lift for the parliamentary homepage, but it
remained as “useless” as an informative and interactive website as in the
past five years.
fourth session of Parliament had started its second week of meeting, but attempts to access information on
the current parliamentary proceedings would come up against the wall, as efforts
to get information on the
daily parliametnary Order Paper, the daily parliamentary report or bills
presented for debate in the current meeting of Parliament are invariably met
with one of two notices: “Laman ini sedang dalam pembinaan. harap maaf!” or
“Not Found. The requested URL /cyberdocs.asp was not found on this server.”
can the Malaysian Parliament pioneer e-democracy to promote online citizenship debate and discussion of
pending parliamentary agendas and bills when the parliamentary homepage is still
struggling with the rudimentary technology of uploading to its site basic
materials like the daily parliamentary order papers and Hansards - after being
webbed for more than five years?
rigmarole of a Malaysian parliamentary homepage which for five years cannot
operate a website which is a credit
to Malaysia’s IT ambition to be one of the world’s IT superpowers as well as
a pioneer of e-democracy has gone on long enough, and an all-party Parliamentary
IT Committee should be established to take over full responsibility for the
Parliamentary homepage so that it ceases to be a “wet blanket” and become a
catalyst of e-democracy in Malaysia.