Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sedia bertanding jawatan Ketua Puteri UMNO

Pada 21 Jun 2008, saya telah pun mengumumkan kesediaan saya untuk bertanding jawatan ketua pergerakan Puteri UMNO pada pemilihan Disember 2008 ini. Kesediaan saya berbuat demikian dipengaruhi dua faktor terpenting. Pertama, untuk mengisi kekosongan jawatan Ketua Puteri. Kedua, untuk memenuhi permintaan oleh peringkat akar umbi, rakan-rakan serta adik-adik Puteri UMNO sendiri. Saya akan bertanding atas prinsip demokrasi dan demi memperkukuhkan lagi parti. Saya juga mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan ribuan terima kasih di atas sokongan yang telah anda semua berikan kepada saya- Y. B. Rosnah Shirlin.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tindakan SAPP mengkhianati semangat setiakawan

Presiden Parti Progresif Sabah (SAPP) mengisytiharkan partinya hilang kepercayaan terhadap kepimpinan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Pada sidang media yang telah diadakan semalam, beliau menyatakan dua ahli Parlimennya, akan menyokong usul tidak percaya terhadap Perdana Menteri di Dewan Rakyat. Saya kecewa dengan tindakan SAPP yang jelas telah membelakangkan semangat setiakawan sesama komponen parti Sabah yang lain. Saya juga tertanya-tanya dan mempersoalkan motif sebenar SAPP. SAPP seolah-olah mengambil kesempatan daripada keadaan politik sekarang sedangkan pucuk pimpinan sedang berusaha bersungguh-sungguh mengambil langkah-langkah positif untuk memperbaiki keadaan- Y.B. Rosnah Shirlin.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A day in the life of a Member of Parliament

My duties and responsibilities as a Parliamentary member of the House of Commons (Dewan Rakyat) involve helping citizens with a variety of federal government issues such as immigration matters, employment issues, youth issues and information on various government initiatives and programs. I work closely with my staff to assist constituents with these matters.

Work in the constituency also involves social and political obligations. I attend as many of the various activities, functions, and celebrations in Papar, Sabah as I possibly can. The goal of constituency work is to help constituents understand the federal government, to solve difficulties that they may have and to provide an opportunity for interaction on issues of public interest with me. Accordingly, I try to attend a variety of functions such as parades, graduations, openings of businesses, visits to institutions of all kinds, lectures, visits to schools, and villages, anniversaries, sporting events, cultural events and major community functions and fund-raisers.

Members of Parliament (MPs) describe their role in a variety of ways. I am first and foremost a representative of the people and accountable to those who elected me. I also see myself as working for the common good of all Malaysians, and primarily as a law-maker. But there also Parliamentarians that emphasize their role as the government watchdog or a player in partisan politics. In fact, an MP has many job descriptions, including legislator, negotiator, public speaker, and diplomat. To perform these duties, Members carve a well-worn trail from the House of Commons Chamber to caucus and committee rooms, and parliamentary and constituency offices.

In the Chamber

Under the eye of the television camera, MPs take their seats in the House of Commons. For debates in the House, Members draw on the opinions of their constituents, caucus, parliamentary researchers, special-interest groups and regional interests, as well as their own personal convictions. House debates therefore reflect diverse Malaysian views. Most debates lead to a vote, whereby MPs vote for or against bills, or to amend them. When Members speak in the House, they have an opportunity to present their constituents’ views. During the daily 90- minute Question Period, MPs can question Cabinet Ministers about government actions, programs and policies. The preceding period are reserved for debating Bills in which Members can draw attention to subjects of special importance.

During Private Members’ Business, MPs can introduce their own bills and motions, thereby bringing issues to the attention of their colleagues and the public. (Most bills considered in the House are, however, government bills introduced by Ministers.) Private Members’ bills have yet to be pushed by any member of Parliament. In addition to the Chamber, MPs’ duties require them to be in committee rooms, parliamentary offices and their constituencies.

Some of MPs’ parliamentary work is done in a committee, where they study and amend bills, and examine other important issues. Committee work requires that Members be familiar with a wide variety of complex issues and hear from experts, including government officials, affected individuals, special-interest groups, business people, academics, and professionals such as lawyers, accountants and economists. There are a number of “standing” committees like the Public Accountant Committee (PAC) , as well as special and legislative committees set up to consider specific issues and bills. Committees might sit from 6 to 40 hours per week and many travel across the country to hear witnesses. Through committee work, MPs can study issues and legislations in greater detail than is possible in the Chamber. Many Members sit on more than one committee.


Caucus meetings are another part of an MP’s routine and Caucuses were first introduced in Parliament in 2006. Each party’s national caucus meets weekly in private when the House is in session. MPs (with their colleagues from the Senate) attend to share their constituents’ views, plan parliamentary strategy and help develop caucus positions on subjects being debated in the House.

The Parliamentary Office

An MP’s typical day include meetings with the news media, constituents and interest groups. Members receive a budget to hire staff to address constituents’ questions and problems, and to provide research assistance. A mountain of correspondences and telephone messages can pile up in the MP’s parliamentary office. I personally follow up on these matters before and after the House, especially in the evening when things are quieter and there are fewer interruptions.

The Constituency Office

MPs act as an intermediary for their constituents, helping them to get visas or passports, or to solve problems concerning immigration, employment insurance, pensions or income tax.
Work in the constituency also involves social and political obligations. MPs must attend various activities, from celebrations and funerals to community meetings and opening ceremonies. We usually take the opportunity to speak to local news media while in the constituency as well. For me personally, you have to love helping people and have the will and desire to effectively meet the demands of the constituency.

Personal Time

In the midst of all this activity, I try to find time for myself and my family. I hope to maintain a residence in the Nation’s Capital (Kuala Lumpur) in addition to one in the constituency. The distance between the parliamentary office and Papar is long, involving air travel and hours in a car. The time I spend travelling from one place to another, added to an already full schedule, leaves me very little personal time.

From an MP’s Perspective

In my work as an MP, I must make decisions on national issues, meet many people with many concerns and study complex subjects. When I have settled a problem for my constituents, I feel contented knowing that I have accomplished something important and meaningful. And to me that is national service- my bit of contribution to nation building.