Democracy in the country is dead – Zahid Hamidi

This has come with the government’s move to suspend Parliament, the Umno president says.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said democracy in the country is now dead, following to the government’s decision to suspend Parliament.

He likened democracy to a person being wrapped in a shroud (dikafankan) as part of a Muslim burial.

“The voice of the Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker (Azalina Othman Said) was not hers alone but represented all of us.

“What she wrote in her letter to the attorney-general was not only about the law and politics but represented the people’s voice,” Zahid said in an interview with Malaysia Post.

He was referring to Azalina’s letter to attorney-general Idrus Harun, where she complained that Parliament had been emasculated during the emergency which took effect on Jan 11.

She had also expressed bewilderment that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had advised the government to disallow proceedings for all parliamentary committees, even if they were held virtually.

The government had said the emergency was necessary to combat the Covid-19 pandemic but critics claimed it was a way for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to cling to power after losing his majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

The emergency will expire in August and Muhyiddin has promised to hold the general election when the pandemic is resolved.

Zahid said even though he was a government backbencher, he needed to speak up for the people.

“MPs should be in Parliament to represent the people’s voice, but when democracy had been laid to rest, will the people’s voice be silenced?.

“Why cannot Parliament sit when night markets and shopping malls` can open?

“Are MPs more at risk (in Parliament) than when visiting the night market?” the Bagan Datuk MP asked.

Zahid also sarcastically ‘congratulated’ the government as new Covid-19 cases remained high despite the state of emergency, the movement control order (MCO) and various standard operating procedures (SOPs) put in force.

“There are estimates that cases could reach 20,000 a day in March. It is indeed a good achievement and major success for our country.

“Surely the emergency should be extended as it is intended for the pandemic. It gives a reason for the emergency to be extended,” he said sarcastically.

On another matter, Zahid said Umno is committed to seeing through that the voting age is lowered from 21 to 18, even though some within Bersatu were now wavering on this.


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