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6.3 The Study

The study aims to examine the impact of the Internet technologies upon MPs through a case study of Malaysia's Dewan Rakyat. In addition, the study also aims to investigate how and to what extent the Internet can help empower the MPs to use technology in their daily lives. This is in line with the aims of the Malaysian Parliament which has been actively involved in ensuring the Internet as a trustworthy medium for improving efficiency, transparency, and accountability in the modern parliamentary politics in Malaysia. Since the beginning of 1994, the Malaysian Parliament has built a road map for parliament technology development. As a matter of fact, the process of passing an act for the Malaysian Parliament can be a very long and complex process. Hence, the Parliament starts to launch the new project in 2002 – the Hansard parliament system. In the Hansard system, all the detailed questions and answers in the proceeding will be recorded. Each question and answer will be recorded in 10 min. Eventually, the record will be transcribed into words and will be uploaded and published on the websites. All individuals either MPs or citizens can download the document and read it. The electronic parliament project has given a hope to pave the way for better legislative information management.

The Malaysian Parliament also has established the e-parliamentary library which is known as a resource center. The Parliament of Malaysia Resource Center is a center of excellence for reference legislative, parliamentary, government, and public administration matters. The e-parliamentary library is used to help and support the research needs and facilitate MPs and staff in the belief that information and knowledge are a lifelong learning process. The Parliament of Malaysia Resource Center is continually improving its services and resources to generate more information and knowledge that can meet the needs for both the houses of representatives and the senate. The e-parliamentary library is also expected to help produce a society of knowledgeable and compatible parliamentarians. Their main objective is to be a center of excellence for reference on parliamentary matters and Malaysian politics and to proactively fulfill the information, research, and knowledge needs ( The parliament website is developed to provide the facility for members of parliament, ministries, departments, agencies, associations, and the public. They can obtain all relevant documents such as the Hansard of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara, order papers, calendar, acts, bills, and others. In addition, visitors to this website can also get information on the proceedings of the Parliament for Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara as well as information on the MPs.

The findings in this study are also to showcase the Malaysian MPs' initiative in complementing the country's initiative toward becoming an information and knowledge-based society. All MPs have been supplied with an official e-mail provided by the parliament, for example, This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it [22]. The citizens can communicate with the MPs by using the e-mail. Besides, according to the parliamentary staff, some of the MPs have their own social networking such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook to interact with the citizen. Through the use of online social networking such as these, the MP can interact with the citizens and it is also more convenient compared to the e-mail. The parliament is expected to use the ICT to increase the representativeness role of the parliament. This way, MPs will get better connected with their electorates. Besides, the public also will be able to participate more directly and collectively in policy input processes of parliamentary democracy.

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