LEGISLATION is supposed to play a role in reinforcing policy initiatives, reiterating collective commitment to specific targets, reaffirming moral or ideological principles, or simply reassuring the rakyat that their concerns are taken seriously and their interests are respected by lawmakers.
Historically, it has been easier to legislate than to repeal.
The level of confidence of the public when dealing with legislation is already very low as they find the law as intricate and intimidating.
Even legally qualified users frequently complain about the excessive complexity of legislation and often tend to read the explanatory notes accompanying the Bill, rather than the legislative text.
So it is not unreasonable to assume that the rakyat will need help or guidance in understanding the raw material of law.
Clear and effective legislation is essential to good governance.
It is also a critical part of the democratic process.
Interest groups and individuals are becoming increasingly demanding of each other and expect the legislature to arbitrate on respective rights and duties, defining rules of engagement and setting boundaries to the unpredictability of life.
A participatory, yet controlled, digital environment could ensure that relevant contributions and specific expertise are harnessed and translated into legislative text.
Historically, it has been proven that policy development would often benefit from external input, moreso when the government is faced with increasing complexity of the social, economic and technological context in the world where we live in.
These seek to ensure a more proportionate and targeted approach, so that the type and scale of engagement is proportional to the potential impact of the generational endgame law to stop smoking legislation.
As it is now in its present draft, the implementation procedures, rather than the legislation itself, already intensify the general negative attitude towards this legislation.
The limitations and other characteristics of existing implementation infrastructures must form part of this legislative planning.
If that does not happen, this proposed legislation will generate disproportionate burdens, or may be too onerous or impractical to implement without major adjustments.
Legislative burden cannot simply be equated to measurable costs. It embraces other aspects such as anxiety generated by the threat of litigation, uncertainty, the pace of change and the sense of inequity.
Noises from both sides of the divide on this with so much emphasis on the negative and unintended consequences of this legislation exacerbate the perception of its unnecessary complexity.
There needs to be a shared ownership of and pride in our legislation.
The rakyat would like good laws to be an integral part of the new approach to the government where openness, collaboration and efficiency define the way Putrajaya works and serves the people. – August 5, 2022.
FLK reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.