New push to punish MPs, officials who avoid summonses
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New push to punish MPs, officials who avoid summonses

Rangsiman: Persistent problem
Rangsiman: Persistent problem

The Move Forward Party (MFP) has proposed a bill seeking to punish ministers and state officials who fail to testify before House committees after being summonsed.

Rangsiman Rome, an MFP list-MP and chairman of a House committee on state security, on  Thursday submitted a proposal to parliament which outlines the punishment for individuals who fail to acknowledge the summonses of a House committee.

MPs who fail to show up will face an ethics probe while state officials will be subject to disciplinary action, according to the bill.

However, if it could be determined the committee in question is calling an individual to testify with a malicious intent to intimidate them, the committee's members are liable for punishments as well.

Mr Rangsiman said the draft law is meant to allow House committees to conduct their work more effectively.

He cited as an example the House committee he heads, saying the committee members often found it difficult to summon certain agencies or ministers to clear up their queries.

"Often, we will call for a specific person or minister to appear, but they will instead pass on the responsibility to other people," he said.

"It's hard to get a clearer idea of a situation, when the person who is testifying does not have the final say on the matter. The sessions ends up being a waste time and money, and they're not in the best interests of the people," said Mr Rangsiman.

Mr Rangsiman said he had discussed the problem with House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha and members of 35 House committees which are faced with the same problem.

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