Conduct in the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) Parliament Malaysia
Keywords:Age Discrimination, Code of Conduct, Dewan Rakyat, Racist Remarks, Sexist Remarks
The frequent occurrences of misconduct among Members of Parliament during the Dewan Rakyat sessions highlight the importance of a code of conduct in ensuring the sessions are conducted in a constructive and conducive environment. Sexist, racist and immature remarks uttered during sessions, as well as acts of discrimination against youth and minority groups, indicate the inability of MPs to conduct themselves respectfully and directly influence the levels of diversity and inclusivity in the Malaysian Parliament. This research study was conducted in two phases, with the aim to assess the public’s knowledge, attitude and perception of the behaviour of MPs during the sessions and identify different perspectives through the lens of MPs themselves on these issues. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted with a total of 1071 respondents aged 18 years and above participating in the online public survey in the first phase. A semi-structured interview with a total of six MPs was done in the second phase of the study using purposive sampling. The results of the online survey confirmed that the public is more aware of the existence of misconduct among MPs and the discrimination faced by MPs who are members of marginalised groups such as women, youth, and minorities. Four themes emerged from the interview with the MPs; parliamentary reforms, discriminatory comments, the role of the speaker and journalism bias. Findings from the current study concluded that although there was a higher awareness rate among the public about the misconduct of MPs, there was contradictory opinion highlighted from the MPs’ perspectives, indicating the need to look at the gap between the public and MPs’ understanding of these issues.
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