Guan Eng: We'll work with Umno to restore Parliament, but not in GE

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Guan Eng: We'll work with Umno to restore Parliament, but not in GE
Guan Eng: We'll work with Umno to restore Parliament, but not in GE

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said DAP is willing to work with Umno to help restore Parliament, but the parties were not poised to work together in the coming general elections.

In a speech today, he told the Penang DAP State Ordinary Convention that if they can hold a meeting of over 2,000 party delegates in compliance with Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), there is no reason why Parliament cannot be convened with only 222 MPs.

"The Penang state government is prepared to uphold parliamentary democracy by convening State Assembly meetings, and yet Parliament and State Assemblies continue to be suspended," said Lim in his speech to delegates.

Calling the continued suspension of Parliament inexcusable, Lim said that clearly, DAP Penang is more democratic and capable of running the government than Perikatan Nasional (PN).

"We have now a strange situation where every business establishment, schools, pasar malam, and even sports stadiums are open, except Parliament," said Lim.

He also cited the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah who expressed his royal opinion that the Emergency Proclamation does not effectively prevent Parliament from meeting.

"In effect, Parliament can continue to wield its powers and exercise its functions, particularly on legislating new laws and government oversight.

"Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s strong criticism of Myanmar for suspending Parliament, when he is equally guilty, is no different from the 'pot calling the kettle black'," said Lim.

He also said that cabinet ministers were failing to do their jobs, which resulted in Malaysia being the worst in Asean in Covid-19 infections per capita. However, he said DAP still wanted to work together with the PN government to succeed against the pandemic.

"That is why DAP supports the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme. But what is the point of spending RM5 billion for the immunisation programme, if MPs cannot meet even after being vaccinated?" he questioned.

Lim who is also Bagan MP said that Parliament needed to be convened to protect the people’s rights from harsh laws that gave wide-ranging and arbitrary powers to the government.

He added that the people are unhappy with the fake news law with fines of up to RM100,000 and three years imprisonment, and the increase in fines for breaching movement control order (MCO) restrictions to RM10,000 for individuals and RM50,000 for companies.

"This is unnecessarily retributive when the people are already suffering financially from the economic recession.

There are also double-standards when we see no action against ministers violating MCO restrictions, he said.

'Winning formula without kleptocratic leaders'

Lim said it was crucial that the people have hope that his party and coalition partners can repeat the famous victory of the 2018 general elections.

"We want Pakatan Harapan to win not just in Penang but also Putrajaya.

"There must be a winning formula for the 15th general elections uniting all Malaysians seeking to defend parliamentary democracy and stop PN from making Malaysia a failed state at the expense of the rakyat.

"Uniting parties that are genuinely opposed to the PN government will not be easy. As a start, DAP urges all opposition political parties and MPs as well as any government MPs to work towards restoring Parliament.

He also stated that DAP will not work with kleptocrat leaders in the coming general elections. This is perceived as referring to Umno's Najib Abdul Razak and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as the former has been convicted in relation to the 1MDB trial and is still facing more charges, while the latter is also facing graft charges in court.

"DAP reiterates that there is no political cooperation with Umno. The party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) has not changed its previous policy position," he said.

"We can cooperate for the people’s benefit as in the Perak and Johor state governments led by Umno where allocations were given to opposition constituencies. There can be meetings and talks with the Umno state government on people’s issues.

"For instance, DAP is willing to work with Umno MPs to force the PN government to convene Parliament and review harsh laws such as the imposition of RM10,000 compound fines on individuals and RM50,000 on companies.

"This is different from political cooperation in the coming general elections," he said.