KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders today repeated their call for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to lift the suspension of Parliament and again accused the prime minister of subverting democracy by imposing Emergency rule to stay in power.
Saying the nation needed to be “saved”, the Opposition coalition’s top leaders likened the suspension of Parliament to the power grab by Myanmar’s military junta that overthrew the party led by Aung San Suu Kyi who won a landslide victory and decimated an opponent seen as the army’s proxy in November 2020 general election.
They claimed Muhyiddin’s government was no different from the Junta because it too had used the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to impose autocratic rule as a way to divert attention from their failure to tackle the health and economic crisis effectively.
“The (Malaysian) government is trying to deflect responsibility for its failure to contain the Covid-19 pandemic by obtaining the (royal) assent to Emergency rule and suspending parliament,” PH leaders said in a statement.
“Likely the only few nations that have done the same is Myanmar, whose focus was clearly not to defeat Covid-19 but instead was a power grab by a small group of military elites who want to stay in power and undo the mandate of its people,” they added.
“The Malaysian government is not that far different, especially since it no longer commands majority support in Parliament.”
The statement, signed by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, was issued after the coalition held its recent presidential council meeting.
The PH leaders voiced concern over what they felt was lack of adequate federal support for groups most vulnerable to the pandemic.
They argued for the need to raise fiscal support and extend government aid to lower and middle income households and struggling businesses through more relief packages, including increasing spending on programmes like wage subsidies and freezing loan paybacks.
The coalition also raised alarms about the pandemic’s potential to widen existing socio-economic gaps between students from lower income families and those better off, claiming the government has yet to produce any tangible short-term plan to help students get their education back on track.
“If the present government is failing to save, rebuild, and reform the economy immediately, parliamentary democracy must be restored so a legitimate government can execute the necessary reform,” PH leaders said.
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