MERBOK Member of Parliament (MP) Rashid Din’s response to the MP Watch: Eye on Parliament project, which asks all 222 MPs six questions.
Name: Rashid Din
Years as MP: Since 2008
Government position: None
• Merbok division head
Membership in parliamentary committees or caucuses:
• Labour Caucus member
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?
I would support the review of the ISA to ensure that it cannot be used for political reasons. In some cases, detention without trial may be necessary. However there must be a timeline and the detainee must be charged if there is a case, or released if there is no case to answer.
Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?
It is not whether Malaysia is secular or Islamic, it is how the country is run or managed. The original Federal Constitution was done taking [into account] all factors, and the spirit that goes with it was well thought out. All we have to do is to follow it.
How do you define your role as an elected MP? Does Parliament provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to fulfill your role?
My role as an elected MP is encompassed in the words “wakil rakyat”. In brief, the MP is a representative of the rakyat, be it in the law-making process in Parliament, or in solving problems that the rakyat face day-to-day — assisting the rakyat so they can [enjoy] the “comforts” that the nation has to offer.
The infrastructure provided for each MP depends on whether the MP is in the ruling party or in the opposition. This I feel is undemocratic. Each MP should [have access to] all available infrastructure and support.
Would you support a Freedom of Information Act? Why or why not?
For the nation to progress, the flow of information should not be curtailed or selected. We will never reach our goal of being a developed nation if the rakyat does not have freedom of information. The rakyat should be free to make decisions [based on] all information.
If there was one thing you could do to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, what would it be?
Do you believe in separation of powers between the executive, Parliament and judiciary? Why or why not?
This is what is incorporated in the Federal Constitution. For the nation to progress, this separation of powers must be respected, and efforts to promote it must be encouraged. Otherwise, we will lose respect in the international arena, and our progress will be curtailed.
For other MP responses, see Full MP list
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