DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has demanded Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin reconsider the suspension of Parliament to allow MPs to address any shortcomings in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
Lim, who is the Bagan MP, stressed that the legislative branch is needed to allow lawmakers to bring up issues related to mismanagement, abuse of power, and the people’s hardships via parliamentary meetings.
“If the executive and judiciary branch of government can function normally, why not the legislature which is the highest level (of decision-making) in our Federal Constitution?” questioned Lim.
Officially, there have yet to be any emergency ordinances issued to prevent Parliament from convening. While a statement from the palace yesterday did not mention the suspension of Parliament sittings or elections, Muhyiddin had made it clear he will pursue it.
The Dewan Rakyat was initially scheduled to convene three times this year: March 8 to April 8, June 14 to July 1, and Oct 4 to Dec 8.
Lim said the government failed to announce urgent financial measures to save Malaysia’s economy accompanying the declaration of the national emergency and this must be addressed in Parliament.
“The unemployment rate rose by 0.1 to 4.8 percent in November 2020 as a result of the conditional and recovery MCO imposed then.
“Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), trade unions, and employer groups have warned of more business closures and worker retrenchments for the latest round of MCO and emergency. The tourism industry which lost RM100 billion in revenue last year needs urgent financial ‘life-support’,” added Lim.
He also slammed the government for not securing vaccines quickly compared with Singapore, which received its initial supply of vaccine two months before Malaysia is supposed to.
“The government has also fallen very short in comprehensive implementation of the 3Ts of testing, tracing, and treatment to save lives. Even though the Covid-19 Fund was reduced from RM38 billion in 2020 to RM17 billion, RM 17 billion is still a useful sum to improve our health delivery system based on the 3Ts,” he said.
“Unfortunately, such funds appear not to be made ready to support our heroic frontliners whether by employing more health workers or by purchasing vaccines,” added Lim.
“The time has come for ministers to wake up and work hard to do their jobs properly. Malaysians want the government to focus on saving livelihoods and lives, not on their own political survival or political posts,” he said.
He expressed regret that Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun supported the suspension of the legislative branch and questioned the need to have a Dewan Rakyat speaker.
He said Muhyiddin had lost political and moral legitimacy as the prime minister following the withdrawal of support by three Umno MPs.
“Ironically, it is Muhyiddin’s government’s mishandling and mismanagement of Covid-19 that gave him the opportunity to rely on an emergency to stay in power by suspending Parliament.”
Yesterday, Pakatan Harapan leaders rejected the rationale behind the emergency proclamation that emergency power is needed to save Malaysia from the pandemic.
Harapan believed Muhyiddin was using the nationwide emergency to retain power as he had lost majority support in the Dewan Rakyat after three Umno MPs withdrew support for the PN government.