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Passing A Bill In Malaysia
What is bill? Bill is a law that does not yet get recognition to be stated as a law that can be implemented. In order to be stated as a law must be discussed and get approval. After undergoing the procedure that had been written in the Federal Constitution, the bill will be passed to the head of states, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) for his consent as in Malaysia or passed to the President as in government of The United States Of America for his approval. This process will be disscuss thoroughly later under the process of law making in Malaysia and The United States Of America.
Who can voice out a bill? In Malaysia anybody can voice out bill, and the bill must be put in a proposal before given to Parliament to be disscuss. Usually, if the bill come from the ordinary citizen, it will get less attention but if the bill come from the government or the legislature it will get more priority than the bill from ordinary citizen. While in The United States Of America the legislative have the power to amend a law and the citizen have the rights to speak and critics on the bill passed based on the Federal Constitution Of America under The Bill Of Rights.
Why a bill must be discussed first? Its important to discuss the matter that have big scope such as bill. Discussion need to be done in order to get a consensus among the legislature, if not misunderstanding among them might occur, thus it will effect the law making process within the legislative. Everybody have the right to voice their opinion, it might help to make the bill more suitable to be implemented according to the country position and circumstances, get low critics from the citizen, and ease to be passed by the head of the states or the head of the government.
Legislative is a body of people that have the power to amend, implement, and create a law that will be enforce by the executive branch and interpreted by the judiciary branch. In the perspective of Malaysia, the legislative are recognise as the Parliament. While in The United States Of America, they are called as the Congress. Legislative is the chamber where the people’s problem, voices, and complain to be heard in the Parliament and the Congress. In other words, we can say that they also act as problem solvers, public servant, and middleman for their areas other than act as a legislature. The legislative will debate, discusse or argue about a bill, an issues, or country problem in the Parliament ( Malaysia ) or Congress ( United States of America). They also responsible to take care of the holiness of the constitution and take care of their own area.
There are two types of legislative that had been used by any nation worldwide. That are unicameral legislative and bicameral legislative.
Unicameral legislative an one chamber legislative or one house legislative. The power to implement and enact laws is controlled by the single chamber that exist. Unicameral legislative is less expensive than bicameral legislative, as the number of representatives exist are fewer than the number of legislatives exist in bicameral legislative. Therefore less distribution of salaries in unicameral chamber and less portfolio that exist. The percentage of a bill to be passed in this chamber is higher as there are only one house where the bill will be debated and discussed. Unicameral legislative is used at Norway, New Zealand and Denmark.
On the other hand, bicameral legislative consist of two chamber or two houses. As we can see in nation that practicing bicameral legislative, such as Malaysia there are Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat or in the United States Of America there are House of Senate and House of Representative.This legislative system is expensive, as there are two chamber, thus the number of legislature is higher than unicameral legislative. The distribution of salaries is high and too many portfolio exist. A bill might be hard to be passed in this legislative system, because the bill must discussed in the two chamber built and misunderstanding between the two chamber might occur and brought no consensus among them. Thus a bill is hardly to be passed in bicameral chamber. Other than Malaysia and the United States Of America, Canada and United Kingdom also praticing bicameral legislative.
The legislative in the United States of America, they are praticing seperation of power concept. The concept of seperation of power was introduced by Montesquieu. Montesquieu is a Frenchman born in Bordeaux in 1689. He argue in his book “ The Spirit of Law-1748", unlimited power will lead to misuse of power and political freedom will exist if there is no misuse of power. Seperation of power state that the power of state or government should be divided to the three government branches equally but different power. The power delegate must be controlled and limited and the check and balance process must be always carried out to ensure no misuse of power by the three branches and there is no interuption of responsibilities of a branches by the other branches. Such to ensure the executive not get into either legislative or judiciary responsibilities. This concept is important to abolish centralization of power and to control other branches power and action. Other than that, this concept also state that the member of another body should not and can"t be the member of the other two body. For example, the legislature can"t be a cabinet member or judges in any of the courts built. This concept might brought deadlock because of check and balance process and if misunderstanding between the three branches. The legislative and Presidet in the United States of America are selected through two diferrent election. Thus the legislative can’t be the member of the executive, as the executive are appointed by the President himself and he can"t select the cabinet member from among the legislature as it ultravirus with the law stated in constitution.
While in Malaysia, the legislative branches does not practicing the full concept seperation of power as the member of legislative are also become the member of the executive. Such as the Prime Minister is the head of the executive but also representing the area that he had won through direct election. This concept that different from the seperation of power concept is named as fusion of power concept. Malaysia is praticing parliamentary democracy system, and the head of the government is the Prime Minister and the nominal executive power is hold by the Yang Di- Pertuan Agong. Malaysia is govern by the parties that hold majority vote in an election. Only the judiciary branches that indipendent from the executive and legislative, as the two branches are incurring fusion of power. The parties that hold majority vote and govern the nation is selected as a legislative, but they will choose one of them to become the Prime Minister, and usually the Prime Minister will select individual from the same parties to help him govern the nation as the cabinet member. The decision made by the legislative is easily influenced by the executive member as some of the executives are also act as a legislature. On in other word, the fusion of power concept is exist in Malaysia goverment.
Law Making Process In Malaysia
Malaysia is a nation that practicing bicameral chamber legislative. In The legislative the are two chamber exist, that are Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat. The one that that have the jurisdiction is to pass the bill in both house is the Parliament. A bill in Malaysia might come from anybody, the citizen, legislative or the executive. But according to the federal constitution, Article 67, Money Bill is become an exception, Money Bill must introduce by the Dewan Rakyat and a Minister. One of the houses must debate and discussed the bill, before it sent to the other house to be debated and discuss second time. The Bill must go several reading procedures before get passed by the parliament
The first stage is “ first reading". In this stage, before a minister going to introduced a bill, he must give early notice to the clerk about his intention to introduce the bill to the representatives. This is a formality stages where the Minister just introducing the “Short" or “Long Title" to the representatives. The representatives are not allowed to debate and discuss about the bill yet, and will be noticed by the Minister when he will presenting the bill for the second time.
Next stage is the important stage, “second reading". By this stages the representatives are allowed to debate and discuss the bill after the Minister present it for the second time. The Minister will give the thorough detail about the bill, and let the representative to argue about the general detail. The bill will be print out and be given to all of the the Dewan Rakyat members.
Third procedures is, “committee stage". In the committee stage the representatives will group themselves into several committees to discuss the bill detail in more formal procedure. The representatives are not allowed to discuss the general details which had been debated in the second reading. After the discussion is done, the bill is reported to the Dewan Rakyat to ask for their approval. If there is no objection then, no debate will allowed again.
After undergo the first three stages, the bill go through the “third reading" process. In this stage, the Minister will tell the member of Dewan Rakyat, that the bill has gone through the first three stages, either without any changes or with changes. The representative are not allowed in this formality stages and if there is no objection than the bill is ready to be passed to Dewan Negara.
The bill will undergo the four stages again in the Dewan Negara as it is should be discussed in both Houses. Next when the senate have no complaint about the bill, the bill will be, sent to Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to get his consent. According to Article 66, clause 4, Yang Di-Pertuan Agong must give his consent within 30 days, if not the bill will be directly implemented without his consent. After getting the consent of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong or the period of 30 days, the bill will written as law and can be enforce by the executive and interpreted by the judiciary.
Law Making Process In The United States of America
Same as Malaysia, United States Of America also had been practicing bicameral legislative which consists of House Of Senate and House Of Representative. The bill presented in the United States Of America can come from either the House Of Senate or House Of Representative. The President of United States and his cabinet member also can introduce a bill other than both of the house. The law created can be criticts by the citizen, as they have the rights to critics the government given by the Bill Of Rights stated in the United States constitution. Exact the same as Malaysia, in order two to become a law, the bill must passed by the two houses. There are several stages to go through, in order to make a bill as law.
Firstly, the bill must be introduce by whom that represent it in the congress in front of the legislature and the President of the United States. After the introduction, a sub-committee will be formed to take closer look to the bill. Bill that will be introduced can be either publis bills or private bills. Public bills is the bill that made for the public,it directly affecting the public generally. While Private bills is the introduced that effect individual or private sector.
Next procedure is, “commitee stage".The stage is divided into sub-committee level and full committee level. The sub- committee formed will look at the bill deeper and thoroughly, and if necessary make revion about the bill to avoid ultravirus. After approved by the sub-committee, the bill will be brought to the full committee level. At that level, the committee will revised and make some changes to the bill. Under the full committee level, the sub-committee might be ask to be witness or to be ask the reason to implement the bill. If the bill passed by the full committee, the bill will be sent to the full house.
Third procedure, is the “floor action" stage. The representative will debate and disscuss the bill. Changes in the bill might be done by the House. After debating for the bill in certain time given, voting time will be open to ask vote from the member of the House. A bill can’t be decline in the House stages, the members of the house might vote to approve the bill or vote to resent the bill to the committee stages to be revise back. If any vote can’t be achieved, a full voted will be taken and the bill is assume to be accepted by the members of the house.
After the third stage, the bill will be undergo “conference action". In conference action, the senates and the representatives send some of their men to discuss about the difference between the bill version from senate and the bill version from the representatives. The men send by the houses are recognise as manager. These managers can proposed a changes that consistent with bill itself, but they are not allowed to add new details into the bills without proposing. After successfull talk between the both houses manager, the manager will report to their houses to vote the bill. If disagree incurred, the bill might be sent back to the committe stage for revision or might not accepted because of to much changes have been made. If they accept the bill, it will be sent to President.
After the bill agreed by both houses, it will be sent to the President. The President in this stage have the power to accept or veto the bills. The signature of the President is important to approve the bill as law. The bill can be enforce and implemented by the branches if the bills is signed by the President. If the bill, is declined by the President, it will be sent to the congress as a veto message by the President. However they can override the the veto using 2/3 majority vote if they decide to revote. If they get the 2/3 majority vote, the veto will be override and the bill can be approved as a law. If no immediate revote action taken, the bill might be forgotten or sent to the committee for further revision.
Why A Bill Is Easily Passed In Malaysia
Malaysia is a nation that praticing democratic parliamentary type of government. Under the administration of Malaysia government, there are three bodies of government that help to smoothen the administration process that are the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judiaciary branch. These three bodies have they own power and responsibilities as stated in the Federal Constitution Of Malaysia.
The executive branch function to enforce the law that have been implemented and stated in the Federal Constitution Of Malaysia. The executive branch is also recognise as the cabinet or the ministry. Every each of the cabinet member will hold a portfolio according to the ministry that they hold. Under the lead of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, there are only 28 ministry that being existed.
On the other hand, the legislative branch is the body that responsible to implement, enact or make laws. The legislative branch consists of two houses, that is Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat. Dewan Negara members are called as senator while in Dewan Rakyat members are recognise as the representatives. The member of Dewan Negara is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. While, the members of Dewan Rakyat is apointed throuh an election, and will be the member of the executive as well.
The judiciary branch is the branch that responsible to interpret the law that implemented by the legislative branch and enforced by the executive branch. The power of judicial decisions is vested on the six court that exist in Malaysia.The judiaciary branch are the only that indipendent among the three government branches.
Malaysia democratic parliamentary government does not praticing the full concept of seperation of power. The government of Malaysia only praticing partially seperation of power or so called the concept of fusion of power. The concept fusion power states that there is interruption of responsibilities of a branch of government by the other branch of government. In Malaysia, this concept can be seen through the membership of a branch of the government. For example, the Prime Minister that act as the head of the government in the executive branch is also the member of the legislature. Our Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak is representative of Pekan, Negeri Pahang in the legislature.
Back to the title, why a bill is easily passed in Malaysia??. The two branches of government, the executive branch and the legislative branch incurring fusion of power. Where the members of the legislative body also act as the members of the executive body. Thus the legislatures are also responsible to do the executives responsibilities and this double responsibility is against the concept of seperation of power. By this act of double responsibilities the decision of the legislatures is easily influenced by the executives as they are the members of both branches. If the members of the legislatives disagree with the decision of the head of the government he or she is expected to resign or to be fired, and this act will influence the decisions of the legislature or the executives as they afraid of the action that will be taken to them for their act or in other word they dont have choices than to follow the head of government decisions. According to the Article 43, Clause 5, of the Federal Constitution, the Minister can be dismissed by the Prime Minister, such as at 1998, when our Prime Minister back there,Tun Dr. Mahathir fired his deputy Anwar Ibrahim.
Another factor is, as stated in constitution, Article 66, Clause 4, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong only have 30 days to give his consent for the new bill. A bill must get the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before it can be written as a law. After 30 days, with or without the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the bill can implemented as law and written in the Federal Constitution as a recognise law. With the power of Article 66, whether the Yang di-Pertuan Agong agree or disagree, the bill will be passed as recognise law.
Why A Bill Is Hardly To Be Passed In The United States of America
The United States of America, is a Presendential Democracy type of government. Same as Malaysia, the United States of America government also consists of the three main branches, the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. The Unitd States of America also practicing two parties system of government, the republican and democrates. The power of nominal executives and real executives are holded by the President, in other word the President act as the head of states and the head of government.
The members of the executive in the United States Of America are called as Secretariat and currently under the administration of Barack Obama, there are 15 secretary used.The Parliament in the United States is recognise as Congress, and the legislative consists of the House of Senate and the House Of Representatives. The members of the House of Senate and the House of Representatives is appointed through two different election and they are not appointed as the member of the executives or the judiciary. These three branches are indipendent from each other as stated by in Federal Constitution of The United States.
The government of United States Of America, is praticing full concept of seperation of power. The concept seperation of power, states that the three branches must be indipendent from each other, their power that have been stated in the Federal Constitution of The United States can’t be delegated to the other branch. There must no interference of responsibilities of a branch from the other two branches of the government. These concept is important to zerorise misuse of power and to avoid centrelization of power. However, this concept might bring deadlock in process of the government.
Beside that, in accordance with the concept of seperation of power, the process of check and balance is used in the United States Government. This process is used to ensure the three branches does not over their jurisdiction and make sure there is no interruption of responsibilities among the three branches. This process is done by the three branches themselves through watching the other branch action and decision. They have to ensure that the branches does not act or making decisions out of their jurisdiction as stated in the Federal Constitution of The United States.
The process of making law in the United States of America can be difficult because of the concept of seperation of power and the process of check and balance. These two factors can cause deadlock and making a branch of government can’t interrupt the other branch action if it is not ultravirus with the Federal Constitution of The United States if the bodies dont get any consensus among them. Such, when the legislative ordered to make new law by the executive, they might refuse to done the order.
Deadlock can occur in making law process when in the stages of approving the bill. The President have the power to approve or decline the bill passed by the both House of Senate and House Of Representative. In order to be recognise as law, a bill had to be signed by the President. His signature, is important for the bill to be written as law. If the President decline the bill, it will be passed back to congress to be debated, disccuss and revise the bill. The President veto will delay the bill acceptance as the process to re-approve the bill take too much time and it can’t be implemented as soon as possible. Even if the veto can be override, the process to override the veto also taking time.
Other factor that give impact in releasing the bill as law is the rigid process of making the law. The are many stages for the bill to undergo in order to be enacted as law. This rigid process taking to much time, as the bill must be debated and disccussed in both of the house using the same procedure that had been disccussed under the title of law making process in the United States of America, page 7 and page 8 before it to be sent to the President.
In era of George Washington as the President Of The United States, he had vetoes two bills. First in 1792, April 5, he decline the appoinment act and second in 1797, February 28 he decline a bill to alter and amend an act. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United _States_presidential_vetoes)
The Quality Of Malaysian Parliamentary Debates
As a citizen of Malaysia, the truth is im not very happy with the quality of our Parliamentary debates because of several factors. Our country is a democracy country, but we can easily critics the government action and decisions. If we critics the government, we can detain under the act of ISA. Isn’t a democracy country, is a government of the people , by the people, for the people. The people’s voices should be heard by the government in order to ensure the term of democracy is not just a word, but being practice. The people’s voice might help to improve the administration of the government.
Futhermore, if a bill come from an ordinary citizen, the bill tend to get less attention from the government. The government have a higher tendency in hearing the bill come from the legislatures or come from the executives more than a bill that come from an ordinary citizen. Why the bill does not get attention by the legislature, is it because the legislature are more educated than an ordinary citizen. Sometimes education can make we a fool, especially when dealing with money or in the other word, educated people can be blind by money, they tend to receive bribes
Other than that, the legislatures decisions is influnced by the the executives. This act might bring bad habit among the legislature, such as being follower that always follow the leaders decisions without thinking wisely about the leader decisions. Sometime the decisions made by the legislatures is based on political interest either than based on public interest. They should make decisions based on publics interest as they act as the representative for the public in parliament.
Moreover, why our representatives must quarell during debating in the Parliament hall. Why can’t they discuss in more proper manner. Debating is to acquire consensus among the legislatives not to bring misunderstanding. They are well educated people, they should know how to debate in more proper manner. The people that voted, expect the legislatures to represent them with good image and they vote them as their representatives because they trust on the representatives to be the middleman betweeb them and the government.
In order, to increase the quality of our Parliament. The legislatures should amend a law that provide procedure while debating in more proper manner. The government should not neglect the people voices and complaint. Their voices might bring benefits for the government in term of making policies or administration. Other than that, our government should practice full seperation of power concept. The three government branches should be indipendent from each other. This concept can help to smoothen the government process and avoid a branch of government from influencing the other branch of government decisions. However, deadlock must be must be avoided as it can slow the government process, thus it made the government machinaries not effective and effiecient.