The responsibility of Ministers for their Departments is one effective way of bringing the Government under public control and scrutiny. The knowledge that any departmental action may be reported to and examined in parliament discourages the taking of arbitrary, ill-considered or irresponsible decisions and high-handed action. Initiative It is a process by which ordinary citizens, rather than legislators, propose laws or constitutional amendments and place them before voters for approval. In other words, It is a form of participatory or direct democracy that empowers the people to propose legislation and to enact or reject the laws at the polls, independent of the law-making power of the legislature. The purpose of the an initiative, which is a type of election commenced and carried out by the people, is to permit the electorate to resolve questions where their elected representatives fail to do so or refuse to proceed with a change that the
public desires. For commencing an initiative, a petition must be signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters (usually about 5 to 15%). The initiative may take the form of either the direct or indirect initiative. Under the direct initiative, a proposal is put directly to a vote after being submitted by a petition. Under the indirect initiative, a proposal is first referred to the legislature, and then only put to a popular vote if not enacted by the legislature. The initiative is only available or in use in 24 states in the United States, Switzerland and the Philippines. Interest Group It is a group of people who share common policy interests and concerns or goals and who organize to promote their cause, influence the government to achieve their objectives. Interest groups are classified into economic groups (business, agriculture, labour); professional groups (medical, legal, engineering, education) and socio-cultural groups (pensioners, veteran associations, religious, racial, reform and women’s groups). Some examples of interest groups in Malaysia are: Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), Persatuan Kenbangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia (PKPIM), Wadah Pencerdasan Umat (WADAH), Malaysian Trade Unions Congress (MTUC), CUEPACS, Malaysian Human Rights Society (HAKAM), Bar Council Malaysia, Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), Sisters in Islam, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA), Malaysian Nature Society, Tenaganita, Friends of the Earth, Malaysia (Sahabat Alam Malaysia), Voice of the Malaysian People (SUARAM) and All-Women's Action Society of Malaysia (AWAM), Consumer Association of Penang (CAP). Some international interest groups are: Amnesty International; Green Peace; Human Rights Watch. Interest groups are also known as Pressure Groups or NGOs. Judicial Review It refers to the power of a superior court to declare legislative or executive acts (actions of public officials) unconstitutional or unlawful.
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