Why can’t MPs meet in Parliament if pasar malam can reopen, Guan Eng asks Putrajaya

Soo Wern Jun
·2-min read
Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng speaks to reporters during a press conference at Parliament, Kuala Lumpur August 25, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng speaks to reporters during a press conference at Parliament, Kuala Lumpur August 25, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has called for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to lift the suspension of Parliament, citing the ineffectiveness of the state of Emergency proclaimed in January to curb the Covid-19 outbreak.

Lim, who is DAP’s Bagan MP, said although the sole purpose of the Emergency was to curb the spread of the virus, more than three months after it was declared, the country’s infectious rate, or R-nought (R-0) has not dropped below 1.11 but increased instead to 1.18.

“Since the Emergency and suspension of Parliament is ineffective in curbing the spike of Covid-19 infections, Parliament should be reopened immediately.

“The Parliament should not be suspended and Malaysia in a state of political limbo just because Muhyiddin (Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) has lost his parliamentary majority following the open split with Umno.

“There is no reason not to allow a mere 220 vaccinated MPs to meet in Parliament, when all business establishments, schools, pasar malam (night markets) and even sports stadiums can reopen,” said Lim in a speech at The DAP Melaka State Ordinary Convention in Melaka today.

Lim also questioned the whereabouts of the RM622 billion Budget 2021 and several stimulus packages, since the prime minister had admitted that the government is short of funds.

“The RM622 billion has not helped to slow down business closures and save jobs, especially the tourism sector that lost RM100 billion last year. Where then has the RM622 billion gone?

“Apart from buying political loyalty, how does the appointment of Senator Guan Dee Koh Hoi as the new deputy minister of tourism, arts and culture, help the crippled tourism sector?” he said.

On April 12, Muhyiddin said government coffers are now diminished after spending RM600 billion for Budget 2021 and several stimulus packages to aid Malaysians affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Lim also in his speech urged the government to move away from the old model of giving one-off aid and commit to providing serial and periodic assistance to the poor and unemployed.

“Muhyiddin has still not delivered on his promise made in the Sabah state election to increase the monthly welfare aid to RM1,000, which should be extended to the unemployed,” he said.

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