Revamp Our Laws

Far beyond the controversies we are facing, it is now clear to us that our law is outdated and no longer works. There are too many loopholes therefore the Parliament impasse and frequent spat, and if you are a seasoned politician, you will know how to play to the audience. But how are we to get the laws updated if every single bill needs the endorsement of two thirds of majority of Parliamentary votes when there is no one political party, nor even a coalition, that commands two thirds of majority in the house?
If no government thought it serious enough to review these laws, with or without a two thirds majority, then, let’s just be contented and continue to live with a failed government for the rest of our lives no matter who or whichever party takes control. For these laws shall remain unshackled, courtesy of complacent bodies and a system that failed. Are we then to succumb ourselves to ride in a car that forever jerks? How long then can we reach First World status when others are already way ahead of us considering the constant mockery and heated debates we see in Parliament? Breaking house rules in Parliament also seems to be the norm now than making good progress.
It is now no longer an option for us to sweep this glaring problem under the carpet. It is obvious our laws needed reviewing and regular updates, as frequently as the apps living inside our mobile phones. Because when laws are stunted lest two thirds of 220 Parliament votes are achieved to pass a bill, then, our laws are as good as dead.
It is amusing we are still guided by the many laws which are of bullock cart age, many that was written by the Crown, as well as the minuscule fines, compounds, and punishments meted out in the Penal Code. Then there is the Election Laws that causes way too much discomfort alongside biased laws that protects certain people, certain quarters, and certain tribe. Properties were illegally acquired through the abuse of the Land Acquisition Act. How about those that gave blanketing powers to menteri besars and chief ministers to overrule decisions not forgetting laws that empower an individual absolute authority?
It is timely that a new mechanism be set up to address and revise laws that has outlived its usefulness. That would also involve stashing away great grandfather procedures. Let’s face it. If the older ways work, today we wouldn’t be experiencing constitutional crisis. True?Thus, we need a complete total revamp.
As a guide, lawmakers when churning out new laws needs to be aware that first and foremost:
1) an effective period whereby such laws (must) be updated or desensitised every five years is necessary and must be established, beit at State or Federal level.
2) the simplifying of standard operating procedures for the amendment of such outdated laws.
The lawmakers should comprise a larger spectrum of the rakyat to make it inclusive. With this, a special body headed by the bar council which includes but not limited to a representative each from bodies of each profession, ngos, political parties, not excluding the independents whose primary focus is to identify, review, debate and make good weak laws arising from daily news and controversies.
3) Such amendments would then be passed and endorsed by the Agong before being presented to the members of the house for briefing.
4) Power to debate or endorse laws should no longer rest in the ambit of MPs. We are relieving them from these duties because partisan politics is already the norm. Therefore, MPs are no longer independent in thought or actions or risk being chastised. This is not what we want.
Without such revamps in the law, procedure and structure, our country can no longer remain competitive. Worse, our country may never move forward, and our contemporary mindset will forever be hindered by backward laws, which is also the reason why religion today still talks about stars and moving mountains. We need to address the unnecessary tabling of the Emergency Act which only harbours conspiracy theories because of the unlimited powers it holds. Once used as a resistance against terrorism, it is now being exploited for personal gains and private agendas.
If our Federal budget can be reviewed yearly to suit the issues of the moment, so must laws.
My two cents.”
-Kris Lee 2021.

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