The Parliament Building is not the Parliament

The majority of support for the Perikatan Nasional government has been called to question by the people, by the Agong, by the opposition and in fact, by its own allies, Umno.

As a citizen of this country, I feel ‘helpless’ and ‘useless’ when in the spirit of our constitution, the Prime Minister must either resign honorably or test his confidence vote in a Parliament Assembly.

This is known as testing a vote of confidence in the ‘Dewan’.

The Dewan, in this case, is meant to be the halls of a building designed by architects 60 years ago to be the place of the people’s representative assembly.

In this article, I wish to remind the people of this country and the government in power that the Parliament Building is, and never was, to be the Parliament of the people.

Parliament is the assembly of a group of people entrusted by millions of other people to manage the machinery of governance and be the driver to the 1.5 million civil servants in this country.

With that understanding, the Speaker of Parliament can call for a meeting in a hotel ballroom or even in the Dataran Merdeka and stand for 30 minutes with only one and one agenda; the vote of confidence or no confidence for the Prime Minister.

The Speaker hast ‘artfully’ avoided this vote many times in the regular and rare parliament sittings so as to avoid the inevitable collapse of a government.

Now that the YDP Agong has put his foot down and forced the Prime Minister’s hand in holding the vote of no confidence, it seems to many people that the PM is playing a delay tactic so as to attract more supports via means that many people, including its allies Umno, as highly questionable or even moral.

Nevertheless, as a helpless and useless rakyat, I would like to call on all Malaysians to call upon the PM or the Speaker to assemble the Members of Parliament in Dataran Merdeka which may be covered with an open wall-less shelter for 30 minutes and call for the no confidence vote immediately, with haste and right the hell now!

The rakyat is fed up, disgusted and tired of these delay tactics of both the Speakers and the PM.

Cukuplah. Tak malu pada kita semua kah? Kamu semua orang-orang kaya, pandai dan berpangkat. Apa lagi lu semua mau?

The mosque is a building known to many as a place of Muslim prayers.

Mosques have been built in grandiose manner spending much money purportedly to honor Allah and to honor Islam.

Even though there may be people of all faiths as citizens of the country who are unable to put food on the table, mosques are still built with huge domes, many minarets and miles of fences, ornaments and expensive tiles.

The facts of religion as the Prophet Muhammad had left us with are undisputed.

If one person were to pray one of the five obligatory prayers or solat at a RM400 million mosque in Putrajaya or pray in a cheap kampung mosque or in the silence of his own house, what are the differences in reward?

From my understanding of the tradition or Sunnah of the Prophet, all three places merit one reward each for the person in prayer. This is because the Prophet Muhammad had clearly indicated that the jemaah or congregation is defined as praying with two or many others that would merit 27 times reward.

Thus, the Prophet left a Sunnah or legacy that Muslims are encouraged to perform the five daily prayers in congregation.

The other obligatory prayers of Friday, Id, Sun or Moon Eclipses, Asking for Rain and special needs prayers must be performed in congregation. No where is it stipulated that a specialized building called a mosque was a necessary part of the formula.

Thus, the Muslims can pray in congregation in a padang, in a ballroom, in a parking lot or in Dataran Merdeka and all these are valid in juristic ruling with the understanding that all these places are free from filth that one can see or smell.

I understand that is true for most religions that require no sacred forms of architecture.

The idea of Houses of God came up from such civilizations as the Greeks and the Romans who carved huge statues of Zeus or Apollo and housed them in temples like the Greek Parthenon or Roman Pantheon.

Since religions like Islam require no statues, the Prophet had declared all earth as the place of prayer for Muslims so that there is no excuse for them not to pray.

Thus, the mosque building is merely a facility and it bears no value in the human-God connection or human-to-human connection in a congregational service or prayer.

Therefore, the Parliament Building pun sama jugalah. If it is riddled with the COVID-19 virus, then close it for a month and disinfect it.

However, the 220 MPs have no excuse at all to meet at a hotel ballroom or the Dataran Merdeka for a single agenda meeting of merely 30 minutes; a vote of no confidence.

The rakyat respect the PM and his cabinet for their efforts at curbing the virus, but the PM and the cabinet must respect the rakyat by following the true spirit of parliamentary democracy that requires a majority rule in order to be a ‘halal government’ and not a ‘haram’ one.

To continue to rule without a clear mandate is a sin in religion as well as an immoral act unfit as leaders to our children and their future.

This precedent of delaying the vote jeopardized the very basis and foundation of our country that may lead to the detested state of autocracy where the dignity of all the citizens and their children will be lost and trampled upon.

Thus, there is no need to wait for the Parliament Building to be opened. Assemble now and with haste so that we should not tell our children how Umno, PPBM, MCA, GPS, the PM and the Speaker were the traitors to democracy.

By : Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi (Professor at a local university) – SIN CHEW DAILY

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