55 MPs Demand 13 More Parliamentary Special Select Committees (PSSCs) For All 220 MPs To Function Full Time

BY Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau

We, the undersigned 55 MPs, constituting a 62.5% of the 88 MPs private members of the Parliament – from the Opposition and Government backbench – denied any committee responsibilities, call for the setting up of at least 13 more parliamentary special select committees (PSSCs) so that all ministries may be effectively scrutinized and all private MPs may sit on at least one PSSC.

All Parliamentarians should be able to participate effectively in the national lawmaking and policymaking process. Parliament must not be treated as the steppingstone to be ministers and deputy ministers. Instead, while ministers and deputy ministers run the country full time, other parliamentarians must also be allowed to function full time in scrutinizing the government.

Even when the Parliament is not sitting to pass laws and debate over policies, private MPs must be allowed to perform their duty of legislative oversight through PSSCs. Each focusing on one ministerial portfolio or cluster, PSCCs can meet frequently throughout the year to investigate issues and conduct hearings of relevant citizens, civil society groups, businesses and civil servants.

Unfortunately, we have 30 ministerial portfolios but only 9 PSSCs that scrutinise 20 ministerial portfolios and lump many important portfolios in one committee. (Table 1) Out of the 220 existing parliamentarians, after excluding 2 deputy speakers and 64 ministers, minister-level envoys or deputy ministers, we have 154 government backbenchers and opposition lawmakers who can sit on committees. Amongst the parliamentary committees, the PSSCs which currently can have only 7 MPs per committee and the 14-member Public Accounts Committee meet frequently while four other standing committees namely Committees of Selection, House Committee, Standing Orders Committee and Committee of Privileges meet only occasionally.

With only 9 PSSCs and a few MPs sit on multiple PSSCs, only 61 MPs get to sit on the PSSCs and PAC, while 5 other MPs sit only on one or more of the four other standing committees. This leaves behind 88 (40%) parliamentarians with no Executive, House or committee responsibilities. (Table 2) If the number of MPs per PSSC is not increased, then the Parliament needs 13 more PSSCs to allow all MPs to contribute to policymaking.

As the Parliament met for only an average of 70 days a year even in the pre-Covid years (2000-2019), this means that even when Parliament returns to the pre-Covid normal, we as part of the 40% excluded parliamentarians, will be denied opportunities to provide legislative oversight on the Executive in 8 out of 12 months (counting in Fridays and weekends when the Parliament does not meet).

By the highest executive or legislative position ever held, amongst the 88 of us are 2 former Prime Ministers, 1 former Deputy Prime Minister, 1 former Parliamentary Opposition Leader, 4 former/present Chief Ministers, 3 former/present Deputy Chief Ministers, 1 former Deputy Speaker, 16 former Ministers, 1 former Special Envoy, 15 former Deputy ministers, 1 former Parliamentary Secretary, 1 former State Speaker, 2 former State Exco members, 1 former State Assistant Minister, 4 former PSSC Chairs, 2 former PAC members and 25 former PSSC members, in total 80 who can draw from their vast experiences. (Table 3)

How many talents with years of experiences and expertise of ours are put to waste when we are disallowed to function fully? Why are we paid RM 16,000 allowances a month but not allowed to represent the people to improve governance all year long? Why can’t at least 13 more PSSCs be set up so that all 88 of us can sit on at least one PSSC to provide legislative oversight throughout the year if we so choose?

Why? Apparently, the Parliament is not given enough resources to support more than 9 PSSCs. Even if each PSSC will cost RM 300,000 a year in secretariat support and other matters, 13 more PSSCs will cost only RM 3,900,000. Is it not penny-wise pound-foolish to save at most RM 3,900,000 a year by having inadequate PSSCs and waste RM 11,264,000 in 88 MPs’ allowances for eight months by disabling their contribution to national policymaking?

It must be stressed that our Parliament started to have regular PSSCs only in 2019 as part of parliamentary reform embarked by the PH government under the leadership of former Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof. Before 2019, majority even up to two-third of the MPs could be excluded from national policymaking for 8 months every year.

Exclusion of private MPs is the product of a post-1969 oligarchic mindset that holds only ministers and top civil servants as trustworthy to run the country, while parliamentarians (including government backbenchers) are deemed either not smart or not responsible enough to be trusted with the power to check and balance the Executive.

Unfortunately, this authoritarian mindset lives on until now that we are in 2021, causing the country dearly in the loss of lives and livelihood amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking a leaf from 1969, the Proclamation of Emergency does not only suspend the Parliament, but also shifts the center of Executive power from the cabinet of 32 ministers to the National Security Council of 5 ministers and 4 top officers in bureaucracy, military and police. With a narrower political base in policymaking and no parliamentary accountability, Malaysians have suffered greatly in public policies, characterised by blind spots, inconsistent enforcement, flipflops and loss of public and international confidence – in the eight months of Emergency.

With the reopening of the Parliament, we urge the Muhyiddin Government to part with this archaic oligarchic mentality and embrace the values of accountability, transparency and participation in governance.

Ministers, deputy ministers and senior civil servants must treat opposition MPs and government backbenchers as partners by allowing everyone of us to sit in at least one PSSC to help the respective ministry to perform better. By giving PSSCs the inquisitive power to search for better solutions in laws and policies, the Executive will get to better exercise its regulatory and allocative powers.

The current 9 PSSCs exclude or marginalise at least 14 ministerial portfolios, including those in-charge of Sabah and Sarawak Affairs, foreign affairs, environment, housing, transportation and human resources.

If the number of MPs per PSSC is not increased, we call upon the Government to consider the 13 new PSSCs for the following portfolios:

No Ministerial Portfolio Corresponding PSSCs Needed
1 PMD – Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Federalism and Decentralisation*
2 PMD – Religious Affairs Religious Affairs*
3 Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs
4 Environment and Water Environment, Water, Energy and Natural Resources
5 Energy and Natural Resources
6 Transport Transport**
7 Housing and Local Government Housing and Local Government**
8 Federal Territories Federal Territories
9 Human Resources Human Resources
10 Communication and Multimedia Communication and Multimedia
11 Youth and Sports Youth and Sports
12 Tourism, Art and Culture Tourism, Art and Culture
13 National Unity National Unity
14 Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives

* To be separated from the PSSC on Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Office.
** To be separated from the PSSC on Infrastructure Development.

The Selection Committee which decides on the number and composition of parliamentary committees should also be expanded to include more representatives from the Opposition bench, which currently has no representatives from Democratic Action Party (DAP), National Trust Party (Amanah), Sabah Heritage Party (Warisan), Homeland Fighter Party (Pejuang), United Sarawak Party (PSB) and United Kinabalu Progressive Organisation (UPKO).

We also urge the Government to allow all parliamentary committees to meet online so that they can meet as frequently as necessitated by circumstance and save on travel allowances for MPs attending committee meetings held when the Parliament is not in session.

We are encouraged by Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan’s prompt and positive response to the call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the reform of Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) made by Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said on July 23. We hope that the Government will also take a similar positive attitude to our call for the setting up of 13 more PSSCs and Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan will take the parliamentary reform started under the PH administration to another level.

If the Government can show its willingness and sincerity to govern inclusively and professionally, it can build multipartisanship and political stability, reverse its trust deficit and restore the public confidence in its pandemic and economic policies. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin must seize the reopening of the Parliament to open a new leaf in our democracy.


Table 1                        The Existing PSSCs and Ministerial Portfolios Covered

No Ministerial Portfolio Corresponding PSSCs Established
0 (no specific ministry) Fundamental Liberty and Constitutional Rights
1 Finance Finance and Economy
2 Prime Minister’s Department – Economic Planning Unit
3 International Trade and Industry
4 Defence Security
5 Home Affairs
6 Prime Minister’s Department (PMD) – Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department
7 PMD – Parliamentary Affairs and Law
8 PMD – Religious Affairs
9 Agriculture and Food Industries Agriculture and Domestic Trade
10 Plantation Industries and Commodities
11 Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
12 Works Infrastructure Development
13 Transport
14 Housing and Local Government
15 Rural Development
16 Education Education
17 Higher Education
18 Health Health, Science and Innovation
19 Science, Technology and Innovation
20 Women, Family and Community Development Women, Children Affairs and Social Development


Table 2                        The Existing 220 MPs by Responsibility (as of March 15, 2021)

Capacity of MPs Government & Allies Opposition Total
(A) Deputy Speakers 2   2
(B) Government Front Bench 64   64
(C) Opposition Front Bench   1 1
(D) Private MPs on the 9 Special Select Committees 39 17 56
(E) Other Private MPs on only PAC   5 5
(F) Other Private MPs on only Committees of Selection, Standing Orders, House and Privileges 1 3 4
(G) Private MPs without committee responsibilities 9 79 88
(% of G by party) 7.83% 75.24% 40.00%
TOTAL 115 105 220


Table 3                        The 88 Parliamentarians Denied of Committee Responsibility by Highest Position

No. Federal constituency Name Coalition (party) Highest Position (Past/Present)
1 P004 Langkawi Mahathir Mohamad PEJUANG PM
2 P085 Pekan Mohd. Najib Abdul Razak BN (UMNO) PM
3 P100 Pandan Wan Azizah Wan Ismail PH (PKR) DPM
4 P162 Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang PH (DAP) Opposition Leader
5 P043 Bagan Lim Guan Eng PH (DAP) Chief Minister / Minister
6 P189 Semporna Mohd. Shafie Apdal WARISAN Chief Minister / Minister
7 P005 Jerlun Mukhriz Mahathir PEJUANG Chief Minister / Minister
8 P049 Tanjong Chow Kon Yeow PH (DAP) Chief Minister (Present)
9 P170 Tuaran Wilfred Madius Tangau UPKO Deputy Chief Minister / Minister
10 P180 Keningau Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan PN (STAR) (GRS) Deputy Chief Minister (Present) / Deputy Minister
11 P190 Tawau Christina Liew Chin Jin PH (PKR) Deputy Chief Minister
12 P076 Teluk Intan David Nga Kor Ming PH (DAP) Deputy Speaker
13 P096 Kuala Selangor Dzulkefly Ahmad PH (AMANAH) Minister
14 P057 Parit Buntar Mujahid Yusof Rawa PH (AMANAH) Minister
15 P108 Shah Alam Khalid Abdul Samad PH (AMANAH) Minister
16 P128 Seremban Anthony Loke Siew Fook PH (DAP) Minister
17 P103 Puchong Gobind Singh Deo PH (DAP) Minister
18 P065 Ipoh Barat Kulasegaran Murugeson PH (DAP) Minister
19 P122 Seputeh Teresa Kok Suh Sim PH (DAP) Minister
20 P145 Bakri Yeo Bee Yin PH (DAP) Minister
21 P018 Kulim-Bandar Baharu Saifuddin Nasution Ismail PH (PKR) Minister
22 P174 Penampang Darell Leiking WARISAN Minister
23 P188 Lahad Datu Mohammadin Ketapi WARISAN Minister
24 P146 Muar Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman MUDA Minister
25 P214 Selangau Baru Bian PSB Minister
26 P151 Simpang Renggam Maszlee Malik IND (Pro-OP) Minister
27 P032 Gua Musang Tengku Razaleigh Tengku Mohd. Hamzah BN (UMNO) Minister
28 P125 Putrajaya Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor BN (UMNO) Minister
29 P123 Cheras Tan Kok Wai PH (DAP) Special Envoy
30 P006 Kubang Pasu Amiruddin Hamzah PEJUANG Deputy Minister
31 P149 Sri Gading Shahruddin Md. Salleh PEJUANG Deputy Minister
32 P008 Pokok Sena Mahfuz Omar PH (AMANAH) Deputy Minister
33 P113 Sepang Mohamed Hanipa Maidin PH (AMANAH) Deputy Minister
34 P088 Temerloh Mohd. Anuar Mohd. Tahir PH (AMANAH) Deputy Minister
35 P196 Stampin Chong Chieng Jen PH (DAP) Deputy Minister
36 P045 Bukit Mertajam Steven Sim Chee Keong PH (DAP) Deputy Minister
37 P080 Raub Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji PH (DAP) Deputy Minister
38 P071 Gopeng Lee Boon Chye PH (PKR) Deputy Minister
39 P053 Balik Pulau Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik PH (PKR) Deputy Minister
40 P052 Bayan Baru Sim Tze Tzin PH (PKR) Deputy Minister
41 P107 Sungai Buloh Sivarasa Rasiah PH (PKR) Deputy Minister
42 P169 Kota Belud Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis WARISAN Deputy Minister
43 P164 Pontian Ahmad Maslan BN (UMNO) Deputy Minister
44 P202 Sri Aman Masir Kujat PSB Deputy Minister
45 P116 Wangsa Maju Tan Yee Kew PH (PKR) Parliamentary Secretary
46 P066 Batu Gajah Sivakumar Varatharaju Naidu PH (DAP) State Speaker
47 P070 Kampar Thomas Su Keong Siong PH (DAP) State Exco Member
48 P048 Bukit Bendera Wong Hon Wai PH (DAP) State Exco Member
49 P209 Julau Larry S’ng Wei Shien IND (Pro-PN) State Assistant Minister
50 P110 Klang Charles Anthony Santiago PH (DAP) PSSC Chair
51 P014 Merbok Nor Azrina Surip PH (PKR) PSSC Chair
52 P144 Ledang Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh PH (PKR) PSSC Chair
53 P097 Selayang William Leong Jee Keen PH (PKR) PSSC Chair
54 P101 Hulu Langat Hasanuddin Mohd. Yunus PH (AMANAH) PAC member
55 P158 Tebrau Steven Choong Shiau Yoon IND (Pro-PN) PAC member
56 P133 Tampin Hasan Bahrom PH (AMANAH) PSSC member
57 P130 Rasah Cha Kee Chin PH (DAP) PSSC member
58 P172 Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin PH (DAP) PSSC member
59 P120 Bukit Bintang Fong Kui Lun PH (DAP) PSSC member
60 P046 Batu Kawan Kasthuriraani Patto PH (DAP) PSSC member
61 P114 Kepong Lim Lip Eng PH (DAP) PSSC member
62 P142 Labis Pang Hok Liong PH (DAP) PSSC member
63 P050 Jelutong Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer Rajaji PH (DAP) PSSC member
64 P186 Sandakan Vivian Wong Shir Yee PH (DAP) PSSC member
65 P089 Bentong Wong Tack PH (DAP) PSSC member
66 P109 Kapar Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid PH (PKR) PSSC member
67 P121 Lembah Pantai Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil PH (PKR) PSSC member
68 P160 Johor Bahru Akmal Nasrullah Mohd. Nasir PH (PKR) PSSC member
69 P173 Putatan Awang Husaini Awang Sahari PH (PKR) PSSC member
70 P010 Kuala Kedah Azman Ismail PH (PKR) PSSC member
71 P009 Alor Setar Chan Ming Kai PH (PKR) PSSC member
72 P094 Hulu Selangor June Leow Hsiad Hui PH (PKR) PSSC member
73 P062 Sungai Siput Kesavan Subramaniam PH (PKR) PSSC member
74 P105 Petaling Jaya Maria Chin Abdullah PH (PKR) PSSC member
75 P141 Sekijang Natrah Ismail PH (PKR) PSSC member
76 P002 Kangar Noor Amin Ahmad PH (PKR) PSSC member
77 P115 Batu Prabakaran Parameswaran PH (PKR) PSSC member
78 P136 Tangga Batu Rusnah Aluai PH (PKR) PSSC member
79 P166 Labuan Rozman Isli WARISAN PSSC member
80 P203 Lubok Antu Jugah Muyang IND (Pro-PN) PSSC member
81 P060 Taiping Teh Kok Lim PH (DAP)  
82 P106 Damansara Tony Pua Kiam Wee PH (DAP)  
83 P181 Tenom Noorita Sual PH (DAP)  
84 P192 Mas Gading Mordi Bimol PH (DAP)  
85 P208 Sarikei Wong Ling Biu PH (DAP)  
86 P017 Padang Serai Karuppaiya Muthusamy PH (PKR)  
87 P219 Miri Michael Teo Yu Keng PH (PKR)  
88 P059 Bukit Gantang Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal PN (BERSATU)  


Signatory of Joint statement amongst the 88 none members of parliamentary committees seeking to add 13 Parliamentary Special Select Committees from the existing 9.

  1. YB Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau, MP for P170 Tuaran
  2. YB Dato’ Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, MP for P100 Pandan
  3. YB Lim Kit Siang, MP for P162 Iskandar Puteri
  4. YB Chow Kon Yeow, MP for P049 Tanjong
  5. YB Lim Guan Eng, MP for P043 Bagan
  6. YB Datuk Dr Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan, MP for P180 Keningau
  7. YB Datuk Christina Liew Chin Jin, MP for P190 Tawau
  8. YB Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, MP for P057 Parit Buntar
  9. YB Kulasegaran Murugeson, MP for P065 Ipoh Barat
  10. YB Datuk Seri Dr Haji Dzulkefly Ahmad, MP for P096 Kuala Selangor
  11. YB Teresa Kok Suh Sim, MP for P122 Seputeh
  12. YB Anthony Loke Siew Fook, MP for P128 Seremban
  13. YB Yeo Bee Yin, MP for P145 Bakri
  14. YB Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, MP for P146 Muar
  15. YB Dr Maszlee Malik, MP for P151 Simpang Renggam
  16. YB Baru Bian, MP for P214 Selangau
  17. YB Tan Kok Wai, MP for P123 Cheras
  18. YB Dato’ Mahfuz Omar, MP for P008 Pokok Sena
  19. YB Sim Chee Keong, MP for P045 Bukit Mertajam
  20. YB Sim Tze Tzin, MP for P052 Bayan Baru
  21. YB Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, MP for P053 Balik Pulau
  22. YB Sivarasa Rasiah, MP for P107 Sungai Buloh
  23. YB Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, MP for P113 Sepang
  24. YB Dato’ Masir Kujat, MP for P202 Sri Aman
  25. YB Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew, MP for P116 Wangsa Maju
  26. YB Sivakumar Varatharaju Naidu, MP for P066 Batu Gajah
  27. YB Wong Hon Wai, MP for P048 Bukit Bendera
  28. YB Su Keong Siong, MP for P070 Kampar
  29. YB William Leong Jee Keen, MP for P097 Selayang
  30. YB Charles Anthony Santiago, MP for P110 Klang
  31. YB Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, MP for P144 Ledang
  32. YB Datuk Haji Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus, MP for P101 Hulu Langat
  33. YB Noor Amin Ahmad, MP for P002 Kangar
  34. YB Chan Ming Kai, MP for P009 Alor Setar
  35. YB Dr Azman Ismail, MP for P010 Kuala Kedah
  36. YB Kasthuriraani Patto, MP for P046 Batu Kawan
  37. YB Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer Rajaji, MP for P050 Jelutong
  38. YB Kesavan Subramaniam, MP for P062 Sungai Siput
  39. YB Wong Tack, MP for P089 Bentong
  40. YB Maria Chin Abdullah, MP for P105 Petaling Jaya
  41. YB Lim Lip Eng, MP for P114 Kepong
  42. YB Fong Kui Lun, MP for P120 Bukit Bintang
  43. YB Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil, MP for P121 Lembah Pantai
  44. YB Cha Kee Chin, MP for P130 Rasah
  45. YB Datuk Dr Hasan Bahrom, MP for P133 Tampin
  46. YB Rusnah Aluai, MP for P136 Tangga Batu
  47. YB Pang Hok Liong, MP for P142 Labis
  48. YB Chan Foong Hin, MP for P172 Kota Kinabalu
  49. YB Awang Husaini Sahari, MP for P173 Putatan
  50. YB Vivian Wong Shir Yee, MP for P186 Sandakan
  51. YB Karupaiya Mutusami, MP for P017 Padang Serai
  52. YB Teh Kok Lim, MP for P060 Taiping
  53. YB Tony Pua Kiam Wee, MP for P106 Damansara
  54. YB Noorita Sual, MP for P181 Tenom
  55. YB Wong Ling Biu, MP for P208 Sarikei




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