REFORMING SENATORIAL APPOINTMENTS IN THE DEWAN NEGARA
Lim Khai Ying and Prishanth Linggaraj
Despite being created with the purpose of ensuring oversight upon the popularly elected Dewan Rakyat, the Dewan Negara has been reduced to a mere rubber stamp over the decades. In order to reform the upper house and return it to a position of potency, this paper lays out several recommendations to improve upon the current system of senatorial appointment. This paper employs a legal doctrinal research methodology drawing from primary and secondary sources from a variety of legal jurisdictions, including a comparative legal analysis with the Republic of Ireland. First, the appointments made at the state level (which are currently done by the State Legislative Assemblies) are examined, and a system of direct elections is proposed as an alternative. Next, the paper focuses on the appointments made by the Yang di Pertuan Agong (King) - which are currently done upon the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers - and explains why these should be done using the Irish specialist vocational panel system instead.