From the Selangor Times Issue 36, 5-7 August 2011. Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered!
This week, Lord Bobo tells you the difference between MPs and ADUNs, and pimps UndiMsia!
Dear Lord Bobo, why is my Member of Parliament so slow in fixing that clogged drain in front of my house and those broken row of lamp posts by the community hall? Is he sleeping on the job or what?! (Unhappy Monkey, via email)
There are a few things wrong with your question, and a few misconceptions that need to be addressed with regards to the job description and role of a Member of Parliament (MP).
First, we must understand the role of an MP as a member of the legislative (Parliament), which is to legislate and make laws. The problems that you are facing like clogged drains and broken lamp posts, and other similar matters like volcano massage graffiti on your walls and badly-parked neighbours are NOT within the power or authority of the MP. Those are issues which local councilors should solve. This misconception of the role of legislators results in misplaced expectations of MPs.
If these problems are not solved by the MP/ADUN (ADUNs are Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri, or State Legislative Assembly Members), they are labeled as “not working” or “sleeping on the job”. Which is unfair.
Here is an easy (though overly-simplistic) way of remembering the differing roles and functions. MPs/ADUNs are from the legislative, therefore they deal with laws and policies through their law-making power. Issues relating to federal infrastructure should be directed to federal agencies (JKR, for example) and matters related to local infrastructure such as wonky traffic lights, lamp posts and potholed roads, should be directed to local authorities or local councilors.
So please, think before haranguing your MP/ADUN. Let them focus on what they should be doing, which is pushing for good laws and fair policies instead of spending their time on issues that are not within their job scope.
I recently read a statement from the Minister of Higher Education that 21 students (or is it 500? the reports are conflicting) have been identified as participanting in Bersih 2.0, and that their names will be sent to their respective universities for further action. Will we see more cases of students being charged under AUKU like the ISA7, UKM4 and KUIN5? (Free Our Students To Learn!, via email)
It’s obvious from crowd photos from 9 July that many young people participated in the Bersih rally. However, when Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, Minister of Higher Education, said what he said about releasing the names of these identified students to their universities, it begs some questions.
Out of the tens of thousands (or, well, 5,000 depending on who you believe) who were there, how were these 21 students identified? How does the Ministry know that they university students?
And even if these individuals were students, and took part in the rally, and the university authorities would like to scr… er… discipline them, under what section of the University & University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) or the university rules & regulations would they be charged under? They clearly cannot be charged for criminal offences (participating in an illegal assembly) because that’s the job of the public prosecutor. Bersih is not a political party or a union, so they can’t be charged under the UUCA for political participation and expression.
Overall then, that was a very strange statement. Which is quite consistent with being a person of authority in Malaysia. The ability to make strange and unsubstantiated statements seems to be a pre-requisite to being appointed to such positions.
I walked on 9 July. Now what? (Patriot, via email)
Hang on. Your pseudonym is “Patriot”? Does that mean you walked on 9 July with the Patriot fellas, or does it just mean that you’re patriotic? Anyway, it doesn’t matter. All Malaysians need to educate themselves for the good of the nation. Let’s not be politically partisan. Let’s make decisions based on what is best for Malaysia. Let’s make a stand on issues having made an educated and fair assessment of the details.
Let’s silence the gutter politics and make our politicians serve the rakyat again, instead of us rolling out the red carpet for them all the time.
Check out UndiMsia! which is a project being run by a few friends of Lord Bobo. It is a movement for young Malaysians to find their voice, participate, and act. UndiMsia! supports the need for accurate information on key civil, political, and socio-economic rights that the lives of the rakyat. Learn how to engage your elected representatives. Do things meaningfully, with results that make a difference to the community, and the country.
Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing [email protected], stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. The first 100 questions published will receive monkey-riffic LoyarBurok merchandise courtesy of Selangor Times. What the hell are you waiting for? Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!