By Lim Kit Siang
The backdoor, incompetent, undemocratic and illegitimate Muhyiddin government has made a mess of things in handling the Covid-19 pandemic, adding to the sufferings and hardships of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
It has come to a stage where Indonesia, hitherto regarded as behind Malaysia in public health development and infrastructure, is urging its citizens to stay home and take precautions on Covid-19 in the forthcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays, with the warning: “Learn from India and Malaysia, for surely we don’t want Indonesia to face the same problem.”
How shameful it is for Malaysians.
In 2012, Muhyiddin was talking about Malaysia becoming a “wonder nation” in 2025 but he has brought Malaysia to a new low of infamy and ignominy after the kleptocracy of a previous administration.
May be the Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, should be asked whether he did not mind seeing the worsening of the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia, as it would have provided him with a good excuse to extend the proclamation of emergency and the suspension of Parliament.
Else why did he ignore the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s pointed advice that Parliament can meet in an emergency and should meet, seeing what a disaster the Muhyiddin government has made of the Covid-19 pandemic – apart from having the longest Covid-19 wave in the world since the Sabah state general election in September last year and the threat of a fourth Covid wave in Malaysia.
In fact, a strong case can be made that Malaysia would have been spared of both the second and third Covid-19 waves if the Pakatan Harapan Government had not been toppled by the Sheraton Move conspiracy, which left Malaysia without an effective government in the last and very strategic few days of February 2020.
Furthermore, the suspension of Parliament not only enlarged the deficit of public trust and confidence in the Muhyiddin government’s handling of the war against Covid-19 pandemic, it obstructed the launch of a “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” national mobilisation against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Yang di Pertuan Agong said Parliament can convene, but the Prime Minister and the Cabinet refused to convene Parliament despite MPs been given two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
How can this constitutional stalemate be broken?
The Parliament Speaker must play an important role towards breaking this constitutional stalemate.
The Constitution is based on the doctrine of the separation of powers – the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. No branch of government is subservient to the other two branches.
Members of Parliament regardless of political party expect the Parliament Speaker to protect their rights and interests and not be a servant of the Executive.
For instance, the Parliament Speaker should convene a meeting of all Members of Parliament to see how the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s stand that Parliament can meet in an emergency can be realised. So far, he has done nothing.
Furthermore, although Parliament is suspended by the Proclamation of Emergency, the various parliamentary committees had not been suspended specifically in the Emergency Proclamation and should be able to meet.
The Parliament Speaker should champion the rights of the various parliamentary committees, particularly when it impinges on the Covid-19 pandemic, to meet and deliberate, and not to be the spokesman of the Executive to bar the holding of such meetings.
The Parliament Speaker should provide all parliamentary facilities for the holding of meetings of the various parliamentary committees, especially where it impinges on the Covid-19 pandemic, and not be an obstacle to block such meetings.
I therefore call on Parliament Speaker to uphold the rights of patriotic MPs in the various Parliamentary Committees which impinge on the Covid-19 pandemic to meet, even if the MPs have to sacrificed their parliamentary allowances denied by the backdoor Muhyiddin government.
(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday 10th May 2021)
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This post first appeared on Lim Kit Siang‘s blog.