DEWAN Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon has confirmed that while a Prime Minister’s Office statement stated that the Government has agreed that Parliament would meet for five days from July 26 and the Dewan Negara for three days from August 3, Members of Parliament have not yet received notice from Parliament for such a Parliamentary meeting.
Rashid said that a formal notice from the Cabinet was still pending and that MPs would be informed of the Parliamentary meeting once there is notice from the Cabinet.
This means that the PMO statement of July 5 was made without Cabinet approval and that the convening of Parliament had not been officially decided by the Cabinet nor was it formalised when it met last Wednesday on July 7.
The Cabinet meeting tomorrow will be the last Cabinet meeting if Parliament is to be convened on Monday, July 26, and MPs should receive formal notice of the parliamentary meeting tomorrow or latest by Thursday if competence and efficiency mean anything to the Cabinet and Parliament.
Also, the Cabinet has a full plate tomorrow but there are at least three things it should decide tomorrow apart from the convening of Parliament on July 26, 2021, viz:
- The ending of the emergency on August 1 as it is a dismal failure and the wrong strategy to fight the COVID-19 pandemic;
- An apology to the nation for the failure of the Government strategy and approach in the war against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the last six months of the emergency, causing a 6,260 deaths and unprecedented high number of suicides. The Government’s failure as been highlighted in three international surveys, namely:
- June 2021 Bloomberg COVID Resilience Ranking with Malaysia falling 35 places from its 16th ranking in January 2021 to 51st position in its June 2021 edition (out of 53 economies of more than US$200 bil);
- Economist’s global normalcy index which placed Malaysia in the last 50th position out 50 countries; and
- Nikkei COVID-19 Recovery Index on July 7 which ranks Malaysia No 114 out of 120 countries on infection management, vaccine rollouts and social mobility.
- Authorise the drafting of a new strategy to replace the National Recovery Plan (NRP) to win the invisible but lethal war against COVID-19 pandemic with the following objectives:
- Remove Malaysia as one of the world’s worst performing nations in the COVID-19 pandemic. Malaysia overtook in less than eight months over 50 countries having the most cumulative total of COVID-19 cases – falling from 85th rank in November last year to 33rd rank today;
- Break away from the present strategy of blind faith in lockdowns to save lives and livelihoods, especially with the growing international view that the new coronavirus cannot be eliminated and human beings and nations must learn to live with it – turning a pandemic into an endemic;
- Take cognisance of the great damage to the economy by the present strategy illustrated by the concerns expressed by Malaysian and international especially the Japanese, German and Dutch business communities;
- Take cognisance of the public health system at breaking-point, with a video on the dire state of the healthcare system in the Klang Valley which has gone viral; and
- Immediately inviting all parliamentary parties, including the Opposition parties, to the drafting of the new strategy in the war against the pandemic and presenting the new strategy for endorsement when Parliament reconvenes on July 26.
Is the Cabinet up to the challenges of the times?
By : Lim Kit Siang (MP for Iskandar Puteri) – FOCUS MALAYSIA
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Stringer.