Speaker Proposes Parliament Committee On Health, Science And Innovation

Art Harun says his proposal to form nine new bipartisan Parliament special select committees is to empower a more transparent legislature.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun officially proposed today nine Parliament special select committees, including one to monitor the Ministries of Health and Science, Technology and Innovation.

Azhar, better known as Art Harun, said in a statement that he has made the proposal at the current Dewan Rakyat meeting for the formation of nine new special select committees:

  1. Special Select Committee on Health, Science and Innovation
  2. Special Select Committee on Fundamental Liberty and Constitutional Rights
  3. Special Select Committee on Finance and Economy
  4. Special Select Committee on Security
  5. Special Select Committee on Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department
  6. Special Select Committee on Agriculture and Domestic Trade
  7. Special Select Committee on Infrastructure Development
  8. Special Select Committee on Education
  9. Special Select Committee on Women and Children Affairs and Social Development

“The proposal to form new special select committees through a bipartisan approach is evidence of the Malaysian Parliament’s commitment to empower a more transparent, trustworthy, and unique legislature that is appropriate for current needs,” Azhar said.

“For purposes of coordination, a special secretariat will manage all these Dewan Rakyat select committees.”

The formation of the nine new Dewan Rakyat special select committees must be passed by the House.

While the Ministry of Health has largely led the public health response to the Covid-19 epidemic in Malaysia, the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Technology has taken the lead on securing coronavirus vaccines for the country, including negotiating with coordinators of the global Covid-19 vaccine access plan, COVAX, that is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Azhar previously told CodeBlue last September that the new special select committees would function like select committees in the UK Parliament and have the power to summon ministers, civil servants, as well as to call on their own experts on specific issues if necessary.

The UK Parliament’s House of Commons has a select committee for each government department, examining spending, policies, and administration. The Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee, which shadows the Department of Health and Social Care, launched inquiries this year on the government’s management of the Covid-19 outbreak and on the delivery of core NHS and care services during the pandemic.

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