All Ministers should emulate Samy Vellu and hold consultation sessions with MPs on the 9th Malaysia Plan projects and proposals which come under their purview to usher in a new reform era of greater accountability, transparency and good governance
by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament, Monday): Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu deserves plaudit for a commendable step forward towards greater accountability, transparency and good governance with his innovative announcement yesterday to hold a consultative forum on infrastructure projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) with Members of Parliament.
Samy Vellu said his ministry would also set up a Consultative Council to act as an information centre on 9MP projects for MPs and political parties, including the opposition.
All Ministers should emulate Samy Vellu and hold consultation sessions with MPs on the 9th Malaysia Plan projects and proposals which come under the purview of their respective Ministries to usher in a new reform era of greater accountability, transparency and good governance, in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's call for all ministries to be more open and transparent and adopt a consultative approach with the people, especially the elected representatives.
Just as “one swallow does not make a summer”, one MPs consultation forum by one Ministry does not create a more consultative governance, the Cabinet should take a policy decision to institutionalize the consultative approach in all aspects and stages of the policy decision-making process – involving MPs and the civil society not only after a policy decision has been taken and a bill finalized to be “rubber-stamped” by Parliament, but even in the earlier stages of policy discussion and formulation.
Samy Vellu said his ministry
would present at the MPs consultation forum all the infrastructure projects
recommended for implementation to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the
Prime Minister's Department, giving details of each project, its viability
and also the cost involved. The projects will include roads, maintenance of
roads, highways, bridges, buildings and services provided by the ministry.
The Opposition will fully co-operate with Samy Vellu to make the first MPs’ consultation forum a success.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman