Wednesday, April 30, 2008

of parliament and live telecasts

I turned on my television set this morning with full anticipation of watching history in the making. My pride turned to disappointment which turned to disgust!

Our parliamentary sitting was being televised live for the first time. It is indeed a step forward although it is only for 30 minutes.

I took offence when the speaker refused supplementary questions because the question time was being telecast. It was not mentioned as such but it was in a way implied. Now, my point is, whether there is live telecast or otherwise, the proceedings should be carried out accordingly. Proper procedures should be followed irrespective of telecast or not!

The cameras are there so that the Rakyat can catch a glimpse of what is actually happening in the august house. The MP’s do not need to be actors for the camera as they are not there as artists but as the people’s representative!

Infact, the speaker himself seems to be playing to the cameras by disallowing supplementary questions for fear of lack of time. It would also appear that the line up of questions and the prepared texts of replies too were being planned for the cameras.
This should not be so.

What was worse was the news that followed this morning’s telecast. The Information minister was considering to cancel the live broadcast.

Shabery said he would not allow the proceedings to be telecast live in full until the Opposition MPs start behaving like “first class MPs”.
“They act like third class MPs, which was proven today, and I feel that to broadcast it in full would be a waste of taxpayers' money. Maybe some people like to see the circus, but Parliament is not a circus,” he said. (The STAR)
What we saw on television was only of the MP’s both government and opposition acting and behaving as they actually do. There is nothing wrong is letting the rakyat see this, uncensored. If MP’s choose to misbehave in Parliament, so be it; let the rakyat, the people who voted them in, decide their fate at the next elections. It is not for the Minister to decide for the rakyat!
If the people decide after watching the way Gobind stood up to defend a point of principle, that he is wrong, let the Puchong people tell him. If the people in Rembau felt offended with pictures of their MP, pointing fingers rudely at something in the august house, let them do the necessary!
Malaysians have grown up! Let the ministers and MPs remember that. The MPs would be held responsible for their own actions on and off cameras. Our leaders should not insult our intelligence and make decisions for us!

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