Posted on 07-Sep-2014
Report by Lance Corporal Lee Kai Yuan and Lance Corporal Alvin Yem of the 1st Kuala Lumpur Company
After our officer, Mr.Yee, handed to the guards the permission letter to visit the Parliament, we were allowed to enter the building. The grandiose design of the entrance gave me a sense of independence and freedom. Once inside the building, I saw portraits of all past and present Prime Ministers of Malaysia hanging on the wall and arranged in order. They reminded me of the historical moment when our first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, fought bravely for Malaysia’s independence. It makes me feel proud to be a Malaysian.
We then had a rare opportunity to survey a parliament meeting in progress. The Dewan Rakyat, or the House of Representatives, meets regularly in this building to discuss matters arising from their respective districts. We were lucky to witness one of these meetings during this trip. Unfortunately, the meeting did not seem to be as systematic as I would image. The leaders in the meeting, who were elected by the rakyat as their representatives, were fighting verbally among themselves over some issues. I was surprised to see some leaders would not show respect to those who were speaking and would tease or embarrass them. I hope these behaviours would change in the future.
After witnessing the meeting, our guide Ms Jeanne brought us to visit the Dewan Negara, also known as the Senate. It is a majestic place for the Senate to hold their meetings. Knowing from what I learned in our citizenship class, the Senate comprises of 70 members. This number is less than number of seats in the House of Representatives. Senators are not voted by the rakyat. They are elected by the 13 State Legislative Assemblies in Malaysia. Each State Legislative Assembly is allowed to elect only two members, and thus the total number of state-elected members will be 26. The other 44 members are appointed by the Malaysian monarch and Head of State, Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The Senate will not be affected by the dissolution of the Parliament.
Toward the end of the visitation, we explored portrait drawings on the wall, which represent the Speakers of the House of Representatives and the Presidents of the Senate over the years. In the 1960s, these leaders were wearing some kinds of British costume for their meetings. As the years went by, their costumes have changed to reflect the modernized Malaysian culture.
The trip came to an end around 11:30 a.m. and we proceeded to Petaling Street for lunch. Overall, I have learned a lot from this trip. As a citizen of Malaysia, I felt there is a responsibility in everyone to learn about the Parliament and make it a goal to visit the building. I am very grateful that the Boys’ Brigade has organised such an educational trip for us.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 1 Peter 2:13