Weekly Highlights

PN goes too far!

Police reports would be lodged against the Prime Minister and Cabinet for stubbornly refusing to abide by the royal command to convene Parliamentary sittings. Such refusal is not only an act of treachery against democracy but also “lese majeste” against the King.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Takiyuddin Hassan’s (pictured) ridiculous reason for postponing Parliamentary sittings was that Parliament was not suspended but to enable the government to combat the Covid-19 pandemic more effectively to pass emergency ordinances.

How is Parliament not suspended Parliament is not allowed to function and Parliamentarians unable to exercise their duties to represent their voters and pass laws as stipulated under the Federal Constitution? Further, opposition MPs have supported and never opposed laws to battle COVID-19. It is not the Emergency Proclamation that is effective in battling COVID-19 but MCOs.

In fact laws passed under Emergency powers can also be done more effectively by Parliament. The increase in penalties for violations of the Movement Control Orders(MCO) from RM1,000 to RM10,000 in compound fines for individuals and RM50,000 for companies is unnecessarily harsh and unfair This is harsh because only a Minister and not the ordinary rakyat can afford such punitive fines.

If a person is charged in court, he or she faces a penalty of RM100,000 and 7 years jail. This is unfair when there is double-standards, where Ministers are not charged in court but only the ordinary rakyat, as shown in the infamous case of Plantation Industries and Commodity Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali.

It is dishonest for Takiyuddin to claim that the provisions relating to the summoning, proroguing and dissolution of Parliament in the Federal Constitution shall have no effect when an emergency is in force under Article 14(1) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021. Takiyuddin has deliberately chosen to mislead by leaving out the crucial words in the Emergency ordinance “on a date as the King thinks appropriate”.

Since the King has already expressed that even when the emergency is in force, Parliament can convene at a date he deems appropriate, based on advice from the prime minister, there is no reason for the Prime Minister not to give an early date. Takiyuddin should stop being deceptive and evasive by defying the will of both the King and the rakyat.

Takiyuddin should instead support the demand for convening Parliament immediately by a majority of the MPs from both the opposition and the current government.

For Takiyuddin to further claim that the government did not want to expose MPs to unnecessary risks as many of them fall in the high-risk group for Covid-19, with 77 MPs aged between 61 to 69, 19 between 70 and 79 and four are aged 80 and above, is an insult to our intelligence. What is the use of vaccination then?

Not a single MP has contracted Covid-19 in Parliament but were infected outside Parliament. All those places where infections occur, including schools and business establishments, are now open. Only Parliament is closed. There is no rationale for suspending Parliament except to ensure the survival of the current government and the Prime Minister, who is not confident that he still retain his Parliamentary majority.

Lim Guan Eng

Secretary General of DAP

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