by Howl Pillai
Yes that's what I said ! Give us a real Parliament and we will give you a new complex.
Unlike the detractors, I say: What better place to make a fresh start than Parliament? We can get going again when we have a real Parliament housed in a sparkling new complex!The present one, just 47 years old is a bit of a disgrace. A national embarrassment even! Its roof leaks like an old bucket and its air conditioning is as dodgy as the artful, hot-headed parliamentarians that need cooling . Things got so bad that once it was even shut down for all of two whole years. On another occasion recently, its not so hallowed grounds even doubled up as a temporary abattoir. What a shame !
And for the record,some 80% of all legislation initiated by the Executive was passed into law in this same building without any amendments.So it is entirely untrue that rubber and its allied industries, like rubber-stamping has seen its heyday. And this very building is no colonial vestige. Built in 1962/3 it then cost a modest RM16 Million. That, mind you, was in the innocent and happy pre-massivecorruption era of the sixties. Please note "massivecorruption" is now widely regarded as a single word in this country.They are inseparable. In today's terms, such a building will cost some RM200 Million,assuming an average annual inflation rate of 5%. The new complex we are informed is estimated to cost a whopping RM800 Million. We have 222 raucuous parliamentarians prone to whooping and chanting.Now that works out to just RM4 Million per lousy, noisy and vulgar mouthpiece of the party or if you prefer political mouth organ.Mercifully, we are a forgiving nation of kindly also-rans, driven by a passion for mediocrity and with a penchant for cost overruns. So we will generously throw in the additional RM600 Million.We simply need a real parliament no matter what the cost.No expense should be spared.Give them the best.Not just a building. Give them a whole complex and be done with it! We must get it right the second time. And I know I speak for most Malaysians when I request the following strings be attached like all things in this fair land :
1)It must be free of even the slightest taint of scandal.The contract for its construction must be awarded on the basis of an open and competitive bidding tender process. This whole process must be made transparent so that even a fool can see through it.The whole tender process must be telecast live. This is more important to us than the live telecasts of the World Cup.After all the World Cup comes around our way once every 4 years whilst Parliament may never come around our way!
2)One of the first things we want within the new complex is a world class 'animal testing' facility.It would be hard for any MP to object.The Lower Chamber has repeatedly echoed with cries of "Binatang", "Babi","Lembu" and "Ular".We suspect too many animals have sneaked into Parliament under disguise and cover of darkness. More scary still, we now have sufficient evidence that these animals have taken over the last vestiges of legislative power remaining in Parliament. All MPs must therefore be stringently tested on a quarterly basis and the results made public.
3)To retain the salient and defining principle of Parliament regulating its own affairs, we insist the new complex contain a modern detention centre to house all ISA detainees who are also MPs.The voices of the Rakyat's representatives must be heard in Parliament even if their bodies are incarcerated.Also one of the first acts of the real Parliament would be to pass an Act setting aside the Kamunting Detention Centre exclusively for the use of ordinary folks like writers,thinkers,poets,
4)The new complex must have a well equipped branch of the National Registration Department given our MPs' propensity for quickie multiple marriages and divorces. Sudden death is also now an issue.Tell me who in this country is not tired of both bye and buy elections? An efficient branch of this Dept will go a long way towards reducing time wasting and improving MP productivity.Later we can set some very basic KPIs for our MPs like attendance and punctuality.
5)Which brings us to the need to have a 18 hole golf course and club for MPs within the sprawling grounds of the complex.Besides helping us know where to find them in a national emergency, it will cater for their recreatinal and sporting needs.The soon to be approved sports betting business will do just fine to fill the gap although we have our reservations about gambling.Please note the Rakyat has consistently maintained that fighting to legalise things deemed 'haram' is akin to screwing for virginity even if the fight is led by a former PM.
6)We insist that both a primary and secondary school from anywhere in the Klang Valley, like Rawang for example,be transferred in toto to the new complex.MPs should be encouraged and be given incentives to send their children to these schools. This will have the singular benefit of impressing upon our Ministers and MPs the true state of our education system.The MIC must take note that the same rules will apply if they as usual request for a Tamil school within the complex.
7)We insist any one of the large supermarket chains open a store within the complex.Besides catering for the favorite past-time of some of our MPs and Ministers ,shopping can now be done locally in the comfort of the precints of Parliament.Besides it will help them know the true cost of living.They can then decide which subsidies to keep and which to remove after ensuring the selling of sugar,salt,sardines and salted fish is properly licensed. These items now form the staple diet of our working classes.As an added benefit prices of essential goods can be monitored daily by MPs and Ministers without resorting to making sense of complicated statistics,graphs and pye charts.
8)To ensure no citizen is abused unto death nor thrown out of the upper floors of buildings when 'routinely questioned' we insist a National Interrogation Centre entirely of glass be built within the complex and within sight of Parliament.We need their urgent oversight of the police force.
9)To ensure the project is completed on time,we insist Sime Darby be pre-disqualified. Besides we want to plant the seeds of true democracy not damn it.Their resources will be stretched cleaning up Bakun Dam anyway.
10)To ensure the complex does not turn into a white elephant we insist political leaders,past or present,suffering from megalomania or variants of it be excluded from all committees entrusted with any part of the project.We have all now learnt that ego-tourism has emptied the national coffers. The fear of bankruptcy now looms large in this land.For once in a long time, no one wants to see 2020 !
11)To ensure full accountability, all members of the 1998 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee be excluded on the basis that they have yet to present the Accounts of the Games. We still do not know who got the Wealth but we know the common people picked up the tab.
12)Likewise all those involved in some dubious way or other with the disastrous PKFZ mega-project be excluded.Besides, Parliament is better known for horse trading than for advocating free trade.Witness that even selling sugar now requires a licence.The next item that will be licensed, the rumour mills say, is the humble condom. We are not surprised because only the Government has a monopoly to legitimately screw us.
13) To ensure the Rakyat is never kept in the dark nor be victimised by news blackouts, we insist TNB guarantee that power disruptions are few and far between in the new complex. Simply put, we want Parliament to be properly empowered.Above all it should not be some shady extension of the Executive.
14)Since almost any significant activity is now deemed worthy enough to set up a university for its study, we insist that a university be also set up within the premises of the new complex to cater for 'parliamentary studies'. Why should this initiative surprise anyone at all ? Have we not heard it be said so often by our erstwhile Ministers : "The matter is now before Parliament and they are studying it in detail!" We propose the to- be- set up institution of higher learning be called "University Demokrasi" or "UDemo" for short. And its motto by unanimous agreement: "OUR PARLIAMENT IS EITHER AT OUR FEET OR AT OUR THROATS"
Citizens ! Lets Demo!