Press statement by DAP Secretary-General and MP For Bagan, Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur On 8 June 2021:
The PN Government Cannot Bulldoze The Hybrid Parliament Into A Rubber Stamp Parliament By Excluding Both Opposition MPs And The Parliament Standing Orders Committee From The Newly Established Hybrid Parliament Special Committee
The PN government cannot bulldoze the formation of the new hybrid Parliament into a rubber stamp Parliament by excluding both Opposition MPs and the Parliament Standing Order Committee from the newly established Hybrid Parliament Special Committee. Dewan Negara President Rais Yatim revealed that the committee’s members include the Dewan Negara President, Dewan Rakyat Speaker, a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Dewan Negara Deputy President, both Deputy Speakers of the Dewan Rakyat, and Parliament’s chief administrator.
The Opposition Leader or his representative is not included to determine the nature, shape and form of this new hybrid Parliament. Neither is there any inclusion of the Parliament Standing Order Committee, established under Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders 78, to determine any amendments to the Standing Orders.
Parliament Standing Orders Committee comprise representatives from the Opposition to uphold the basic principle that Parliament belongs to all MPs, whether from the government or the opposition. By right, Parliament Standing Orders Committee should be involved and meet since the formation of a hybrid Parliament would necessitate amendments to the current Standing Orders.
Excluding Opposition MPs on what the hybrid Parliament entails, is a violation of Parliamentary convention and an abuse of power that erodes the fundamental basis of Parliament as a fountain of democracy. Opposition MPs are as much part of the legislative branch of the Federal Constitution as government MPs.
If only the government MPs can decide on the procedural rules of how hybrid Parliament meetings are conducted, this “rubber stamp” Parliament could mean the end of Parliament as we know it. How then can Opposition MPs play their key role in ensuring a functioning Parliament as a check and balance on government through legislative scrutiny and government oversight?