MP SPEAKS | The Senior Minister for Economy and Trade and Industry Azmin Ali’s fallacious claim that the decision to suspend Parliament until August is for the good of all and does not violate the Federal Constitution, openly contradicts and disobeys the royal opinion expressed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Despite the King expressing that the Emergency Proclamation does not prevent Parliament from holding a meeting, the Perikatan Nasional government is recalcitrant by refusing to reopen Parliament.
Is Azmin fearful of attending Parliament to answer his poor performance as a minister that caused the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to report that foreign investment inflows in Malaysia fell by 68 percent to US$2.5 billion (RM10.35 billion) last year, the worst percentage decline in Asean?
And does Azmin also fear having to explain to MPs why IBM decided to close down its RM1 billion information technology (IT) Global Delivery Centre in Cyberjaya by end of May, extinguishing 1,000 highly skilled jobs?
PN has committed a diabolical act of treachery against parliamentary democracy and the Federal Constitution as well as “lese majeste” against the King. How can 222 MPs meeting threaten public health with Covid-19, when all MPs have been fully vaccinated and business establishments, schools and sports stadiums can reopen?
The real reason that PN dares not reopen Parliament is that the coalition has lost its parliamentary majority following the split with Umno and the fear of losing a vote of confidence.
We from DAP have given our assurance that our MPs will not support any vote of confidence for any parliamentary meeting held before Aug 1, 2021, to enable spending measures on Covid-19 to be passed and Parliament to function normally.
PN is selfish to sacrifice Parliament for its political survival and to avoid parliamentary oversight and scrutiny for its failed promises and policies.
PN does not want to justify its broken promises, such as continuing the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR); an automatic extension of bank loan moratorium (except Top 20); increase in monthly welfare aid to RM1,000, including for the unemployed; and double-standards in punishing the rakyat but not ministers for failing to comply with the movement control order (MCO) restrictions.
Further, PN does not want to explain its U-turn in promising to implement Undi18 - the reduction of the voting age from 21 to 18 years - by July 2021 but delaying this to after September 2022.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, who had voted for the Undi18 constitutional amendment in 2019, has also made a U-turn, stating that those between 18 and 20 years of age are not mature enough to vote.
Hadi is dishonest for now dismissing youths as not mature enough to vote but yet are mature enough to drive at 18 and even marry below the age of 18. What is more hypocritical is that PAS accepts members as young as 13, who can also vote in PAS party meetings.
How can Hadi be so ignorant as not to know that some 90 percent of the 57 countries in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have their voting age at 18 years old - including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Algeria, Libya and Palestine?
As Malaysia’s special envoy with ministerial status to the Middle East, Hadi’s ignorance is perhaps the reason why he failed to bring in significantly new Middle Eastern investments to Malaysia, as compared to Indonesia’s success.
LIM GUAN ENG is Bagan MP, former finance minister, and former Penang chief minister.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.