(source: parlimen.gov.my)Name: Nancy Shukri
Constituency: Batang Sadong
Years as MP: Since 2008
Government position: None
Membership in parliamentary committees or caucus:
Women Parliamentary Caucus chairperson
Rights and privileges committee member
Labour Caucus member
Blog/Website: Facebook — Nancy Shukri
Would you support the abolition/review of the Internal Security Act (ISA), in particular the provision that allows for detention without trial? Why or why not?
Yes, but I would support it once the government has a legislative replacement to encompass security matters. Now, as a politician, I understand the need to have such a provision because one will never know who is a threat to our security. It is difficult to know who is or isn’t a threat until detailed investigations have been carried out. One of the best options is to detain him or her first.
Security is a delicate operation that is needed before one can really discover the crux of the matter. We have seen cases in Malaysia involving those who were hiding or renting a house in the kampung and people did not know what he [or she] was up to.
Of course along the way, there are people [who are] detained [who did] not really fall within the category of causing [a] threat to the nation. Which should we give priority to? An individual or family or the nation at large? I would want to see [a] law to replace [the] security provision first; meanwhile the present [law i.e. the ISA] should stay.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
If I am not mistaken, even till today our constitution states that Malaysia is a secular state though it unofficially regards Islam as the official religion due to the majority being Muslims. I would want to see the present status maintained.
Malaysia is one of the countries that officially allows freedom of religion in the constitution.
How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfil your role?
My role is to assist my constituents to reach the government for their needs. I act as a channel to voice my peoples’ needs, and also to speak for Malaysians when I am in Parliament. I can also speak for Malaysian women.
The government does provide me with the support and infrastructure to help the people. Again, I also have to play my part by convincing the government that the infrastructure in my constituency is still not up to par.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
Yes. The press should be given the freedom to report in the name of justice and in fairness of the subject matter. The press, however, should be reporting facts and not take sides.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
To strengthen democracy by strictly applying the doctrine of the separation of powers. Delivery systems must be effective for the separation of powers to be implemented without fear or favour.
Do you believe in separation of powers between the government, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
I definitely agree with the separation of powers. It’s the most ideal democratic system. Practising the separation of powers allows the executive to carry out its duties freely. So with the judiciary — let them function in accordance with the ambit of the law and make decisions without the executive’s influence.
Legislative functions should be left totally in the hands of parliamentarians. In the process of exercising their duties, MPs must play their role in objectively questioning and criticising the executive.
If all these are practised according to the rule of separation of powers, certainly we would have an effective government. I can see that Malaysians are becoming more mature in exercising their rights. This is a sign of a democratic system in Malaysia.
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