(Petaling Jaya, Monday):
Members of Parliament should investigate how the tens of
millions of ringgit for Parliament to go online have been squandered as
Parliament continues to produce one
of the most disgraceful public websites in the country and in the international
parliamentary community after six years.
The Parliament home-page, www.parlimen.gov.my,
continues to deserve the prize for the most user-unfriendly, inaccessible and
uninformative website among the world's Parliaments and Malaysia's public websites.
As at 2.30 p.m.
today, the parliamentary order of
business for today’s meeting of
Dewan Rakyat is not available on
the homepage, and visitors to the web-page on “Bills” are met with the
perpetual notice of “Dalam Pembinaan”.
The webmaster of the parliamentary homepage not only
reports for duty at the same time as MPs when they turn up for the start of the
new parliamentary meeting today, but is capable of holding the world record of
keeping a web-page “under construction” for six long years!
Governments around the world, national and local, are
embracing electronic government by putting critical information online,
automating once cumbersome processes and interacting electronically with their
citizens – except in Malaysia, where e-government is being used by
some government departments and public authorities to waste resources, impede
greater public access to information and make them
even less accountable to the citizens, with Parliament standing out as
the worst culprit.
The scandal of the parliamentary homepage, where nothing useful is accessible after six years and tens of millions of ringgit of expenditure, is also a shocking reflection on the Malaysian Parliament and Members of Parliament – as it raises the fundamental question as to how Members of Parliament, regardless of party, could effectively hold the government to account and demand improvements in public services when they could not even ensure that the Parliamentary homepage stop being the laughing stock of all Malaysian public websites and world parliaments for being totally user-unfriendly, inaccessibility and devoid of information.