Among the key reforms, should Pakatan come into power, will be the establishment of a parliamentary committee structure with members from both sides of the divide.
PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat has pledged to reform Parliament should it wrest federal power in the 13th general election, vowing to restore the separation of powers and strengthen democratic institutions.
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said among the key reforms would be the establishment of a parliamentary committee structure with members from both sides of the divide covering all aspects of government.
This includes finance, education, health, defence, law and civil service, among others, with the mandate to provide oversight and to be included in all key governance matters that would guarantee full democratic participation and accountability.
“Separation of powers will ensure transparency and accountability for good governance – that will mitigate against abuse of powers and corruption – which will allow the interest of all stakeholders to be represented equitably,” Nurul told reporters here.
The daughter of opposition and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim cited the controversy surrounding the civil service salary scheme as proof for the need of parliamentary reform.
Nurul, echoing the union representing public workers Cuepacs, claimed the salary scheme would only benefit the “bureaucratic elite” and widen the wage gap between the top echelons and those below.
Civil service backlash
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was forced to do away with the scheme after an uproar threatened to trigger a backlash from the civil service, the ruling coalition’s traditional votebank.
The debacle was believed to have cost the Public Service Department director-general Abu Bakar Abdullah his job in what the PKR leader alleged was a scapegoating move to prevent top government leaders, including Najib, from taking the blame.
The scheme was said to have been approved by the Cabinet.
Nurul said the failure of the executive or Cabinet to study in detail such an important matter justified a thorough review of the Barisan Nasional government.
Najib had subsequently announced a new Civil Service Commission to look into improving the public sector but the glory was short-lived after it was announced that former chief justice Zaki Azmi was appointed as the panel’s chief.
Zaki was a former lawyer for the ruling Umno party. His credibility had been marred by allegations of “flawed judgments” favouring the ruling coalition during his time as chief justice and the recent accusation that his wife had been given a highway contract worth RM2.2 billion.
Nurul said parliamentary reform would provide the necessary check and balance to avoid more scandals in the future.
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