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Mahiaddin’s act of using riot police against elected MPs is extreme and draconian!

Press Statement
3rd August 2021

MPs being barred from entering Parliament building shows PM embroiled in severe confidence crisis

DAP Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin remarked that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s high-handed tactics to block opposition MPs from entering the Parliament building yesterday to perform their duties clearly is a signal that the Prime Minister has officially entered distress mode – that he is no longer confident that he retains the confidence of the majority of Members of Parliament.

“The deployment of the police and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) to prevent all opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) from entering the Parliament building is an unprecedented move. I can tolerate a lot, but they really crossed the line when they blocked us, physically,” said Chan.

Chan, who is also the secretary of Sabah DAP, said that he had encountered roadblocks which were set up by the police at various intersections when he was on the way to the Parliament Building at nine o’clock yesterday morning and was eventually unable to enter the Parliament grounds to perform his official duties.

After all opposition members were blocked by the police from entering Parliament, they had immediately decided to protest and express their dissatisfaction with such treatment.

Chan, together with other colleagues and fellow MPs then gathered at the Dataran Merdeka and had prepared to march together to the Parliament building. However, the police and the Federal Reserve Unit (more commonly known as FRU) dispatched a number of large trucks to block the road, built a long wall using riot police with their shields, and refused to let them through.

The MPs had dispersed at about 10:45am after a short protest and airing their frustrations.

“Why do they need to resort to taking such high-handed measures to deal with MPs? Clearly this is because of the conflict between the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government and the Yang Dipertuan Agong over PN’s unilateral revocation of the emergency ordinances. Muhyiddin seems to be buying time as he needs time to identify and satisfy the demands of Umno MPs in order to hold onto power as Prime Minister,” said Chan.

Officially, the excuse given to indefinitely postpone the special session of the Dewan Rakyat originally scheduled to be held yesterday is that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic at Parliament. Similarly, the Dewan Negara meeting, which was originally scheduled to be held starting today, were also indefinitely postponed under the auspice of the coronavirus.

Chan then remarked that Muhyiddin’s instruction seemed to be endorsed by the Director-General of Health, Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah.

“Last Thursday, after two adjournments of Parliament sitting, each for an hour, suddenly everyone who were in the Parliament building were made to compulsorily undergo a rapid saliva Covid-19 test at 3:30 pm. The next day, Dr. Noor Hisham announced that 11 people in parliament were tested positive. Yesterday, Dr. Noor Hisham further pointed out that among the 11 confirmed cases, some of them were very contagious. Therefore, he announced that all meetings in the Parliament building will be postponed for two weeks from July 29,” said Chan.

The announcement had set tongues wagging. Chan questioned that that if indeed the situation in Parliament is really as “horrible” as Dr. Noor Hisham would seem to suggest, then why did Dr. Noor Hisham and Health Minister Adam Baba still attend the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing held yesterday? Why were they allowed into the building? Why can Parliament staff go to work as usual, but only opposition members are barred?

Chan then said that a total of 1,183 people were tested in Parliament on Thursday, and only 11 were found positive, which means that there were only 1% of confirmed cases.

“Really, thank you Dr. Noor Hisham for your “well-intention” in shutting down Parliament just merely because 1% were tested positive here. However, such number does not justify forcing the closure of Parliament and going against the Standing Orders! This reasoning does not sit well with MPs, not to mention that most of the people present in Parliament were already vaccinated. If the Ministry of Health’s standards for a premise to be allowed to operate were to be so high (1% to force closure), then no national recovery plan will ever work or take place!” said Chan.

“The 3rd Session Of the Fourteenth Malaysian Parliament which was supposed to be prorogued last year is still ongoing. How can Members of Parliament be blocked from entering their workplace? This is absurd and would surely attract criticism. As Dr. Noor Hisham said that Parliament can only continue after two weeks’ time, I hereby challenge Speaker Azhar Harun to issue an official letter in black and white fixing a sitting after two weeks’ time!” said Chan.

Chan Foong Hin
MP for Kota Kinabalu
DAP Sabah Secretary

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