PETALING JAYA: In the brutal world of business, poor performance by employees more often than not ultimately leads to dismissal.
Unfortunately, the same standard does not seem to apply to those who have been elected to serve the people.
In fact, few people will be surprised to learn that there are some MPs or state assemblymen who sit through a five-year term without raising a question in the House or meet their constituents’ expectations.
In fact, the sentiment on the ground now is that a set of key performance indicators (KPI) should be drawn up to gauge how well an elected representative serves his constituents.
Former MP and social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye suggested that each “Yang Berhormat” be required to submit a report card on his performance every month and this be made available for public scrutiny.
“The report card should state clearly what the MP or state assemblyman has done for the benefit of his or her constituents,” he said.
“If and when questioned about the promises they made and how much of those promises have been fulfilled, they should be able to show it on their report card.”
Lee said this would give voters a chance to determine how well their elected representative has served them, especially if he is seeking a new term in office.
He said this will also keep the elected representatives on their toes and ensure they keep their promises.
“The main problem in Malaysia is that everyone will jump on an issue but in time, they will forget about it. This is true of both government and opposition MPs. Both sides are only interested in scoring points.”
Lee said whenever there is a tragedy or major accident, the normal reaction is “we will investigate”.
“Both sides will make a lot of noise but with time, it will be forgotten and they jump onto another issue. We need to ensure a
He added that elected representatives who are unable to show in their report card that they have met the people’s expectations would likely not be re-elected.
In her column in theSun on Monday, author and brand strategist Vasanthi Ramachandran cited the case of a mother who had trouble making an appointment for her Covid-19 vaccination because under current conditions, it was not possible for her to get a babysitter for her hyperactive autistic son and a toddler.
Fortunately, a volunteer came to her aid and arranged for an e-hailing ride to get her to a drive-through vaccination centre, with her children in tow.
Vasanthi pointed out that the mother’s problem could have easily been resolved if her MP had been available.
Another social activist, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, said elected representatives should be required to fill out a programme form to outline their activities and achievements each month.
“This form can be designed by an independent body to ensure there is no fibbing,” he said.
Ramon, who is a director at the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute, said another step that MPs should take is to call a town hall meeting every three to six months to report on their activities to the electorate and field questions.
“This will keep them on their toes and ensure that they fulfil their promises.”
Ramon suggested that the Red Book strategy mooted by second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein be reintroduced to make elected representatives show their action plans and have officials check on them to ensure they are doing their jobs.
“This will enable the people to keep track of their elected representatives’ performance.”
He pointed out that nobody keeps track of MPs’ performance in the Dewan Rakyat either.
“Do they attend debates, take part in it or bring up issues affecting their constituencies?”
Apart from poor performance, many MPs and state assemblymen have been called out for bad or uncouth behaviour, both in and outside the House.