Mind your language, Speaker warns MPs

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Potty-mouth Members of Parliament using racist, sexist or derogatory terms in Parliament could face a fine of RM1,000 alongside suspensions, says Dewan Rakyat speaker Datuk Johari Abdul.

He said these were some of the mooted parliamentary reforms given how certain MPs had used such terms shamelessly, with the slurs even targeted towards the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and other MPs.

“A special committee will be formed to monitor the behaviour of MPs in Parliament with guidelines also being drawn up.

“At present, the provision to impose a fine of RM1,000 on MPs already exists in the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952, but it has never been applied.

“Those found violating the Act could also be suspended for up to six months, although this was rarely used by previous Speakers,” he was quoted as saying.

He said the matter was also discussed with Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, adding that such committees were formed in many other countries.

“In fact, we are even suggesting to increase the fines through amendments of the Act,” he told Berita Harian.

Other reforms proposed by Johari included Parliament sessions be extended to 8.30pm and that MPs no longer be required to wear neckties during sessions.

He also described Parliament sessions that dragged on into the night or even dawn as unproductive, with the exception of urgent matters such as the Budget.

Johari also called on MPs to reduce politicking in the Dewan Rakyat and instead focus on the people.

“We expect MPs with quality as they represent the people.

“If they want to speak about politics, do it outside the hall,” he added. – The Star