Six senators sworn in


SIX senators took their oath of office before the Senate president Tan Sri Rais Yatim at Dewan Negara today.

They are Dr Wan Martina Wan Yusoff, Datuk Ajis Sitin, Datuk Juhanis Abdul Aziz, Aziz Ariffin, Seruandi Saad and Fadhlina Sidek.

Wan Martina’s appointment took effect from August 24, 2021; Ajis (August 25); Juhanis (August 25); Aziz (August 26); Seruandi (August 26) and Fadhlina (September 1).

Wan Martina was nominated by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly (DUN), Ajis and Juhanis by Pahang DUN, Aziz and Seruandi by Perlis DUN while Fadhlina by Penang DUN.

In his speech at the ceremony, Rais congratulated the senators on their appointment and reminded them to always strive to discharge their duties excellently.

He expressed his hope that the Senator’s experience, professional background and expertise will ensure that the Federal Constitution and the country’s legislative system can function properly.

“We are in the process of giving a fresh start to Parliament including Dewan Negara by drawing up a transformation plan to change the image and views towards it.

“With new methods and efforts, through transformation actions with the participation of various parties, experts, government representatives, Dewan Negara and also Dewan Rakyat, we will be proud to carry out excellent service and at the same time raise our integrity to a real position,” he said.

Rais underscored that this view has been expressed by various parties over the past five years but no concrete steps have been implemented.

“In this regard, the Dewan Negara has reached an agreement with the Dewan Rakyat for us to improve the administrative structure and legal framework concerned with Parliament so that the concept of separation of powers truly exists and is respected.

“This in turn will ensure that the integrity of Parliament can be strengthened. Parliament can no longer be labelled as a tool by any party to legitimize anything that a party wants to do that is not related to the authority of Parliament,” he added.

At the same time, meeting rules will be improved to cover aspects of meeting conduct, discipline of honorary members and strengthening select committees to have executive power.

“If all these transformations are paid off, many uncontrollable matters and tricks will be overcome by Parliament through its power.

“And of course, legislative institutions, especially the Dewan Negara, are no longer seen as trivial and insignificant,” he reckoned.

In terms of finance and administration, he said it was time for Parliament to determine its own financial methods and how it was going to spend its finances, this was also the full jurisdiction of Parliament.

“We can no longer continue to be treated as a department. Parliament is not a department; it needs to be independent of any party in the true sense.

“Therefore, I urge senators to take a role and be actively involved in this transformation effort,” he said.

Earlier, Rais conveyed his condolences to the family of former Senator Sopiah Shariff, who passed away on September 8, 2021.

“Allahyarhamah Sopiah contributed a lot to the Dewan Negara, the institutions of Parliament and the people as a whole,” he said.