Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has lost all political and moral legitimacy to represent Malaysians as their Prime Minister following the withdrawal of support of three UMNO MPs resulting in the loss of his parliamentary majority. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has responded swiftly by declaring a state of Emergency on Tuesday to suspend Parliament and the respective State Assembly, using the pretext of a spike in COVID-19 infections.
A national emergency is not needed to stop by-elections, which has already been postponed by the declaration of emergency in the local area. As for a general election for Parliament or the Sarawak state elections, there is still time because the term of office for Parliament and Sarawak State Assembly ends in 2023 and June 5 2021 respectively
Ironically, it is Muhyiddin’s government’s mishandling and mismanagement of COVID-19 that gave him the opportunity to rely on an Emergency to stay in power by suspending Parliament. Muhyiddin had only announced on Monday the reimposition of the Movement Control Order(MCO), which is more than sufficient to deal with the surging COVID-19 infections.
Further, Perikatan Nasional(PN)’s failure to announce urgent financial measures to save Malaysia’s economy accompanying the declaration of the state of Emergency proves that Muhyiddin is not focused on saving jobs, businesses and the people’s livelihood. The unemployment rate rose by 0.1% to 4.8% in November 2020 as a result of the conditional and recovery MCO imposed then.
Small and medium entreprises(SMEs), trade unions and employer groups have warned of more business closures and workers’ retrenchments for the latest round of MCO and Emergency. The tourism industry which lost RM100 billion in revenue last year, need urgent financial “life-support”.
And yet not only is there no financial help forthcoming, but the promised automatic bank loan moratorium (except Top 20 group). EPF contribution self-withdrawals and the increase in monthly welfare aid to RM1,000 including the unemployed for the period of the COVID-19 crisis, remains unfulfilled.
In the choice between lives and livelihood, the government has also fallen very short in comprehensive implementation of 3Ts of testing, tracing and treatment to save lives. Even though the COVID-19 Fund was reduced from RM38 billion in 2020 to RM17 billion, RM 17 billion is still a useful sum to improve our health delivery system based on the 3Ts.
Unfortunately, such funds appear not to be made readily to support our heroic front-liners whether in employing more health workers or in purchasing vaccines. At a time when Singapore has already taken delivery and begin mass vaccinations, our Ministers are only signing contracts to purchase these vaccines. This two-month delay in delivery of the vaccines means that more lives will be lost unnecessarily.
The time has come for Ministers to wake up and work hard to do their jobs properly. Malaysians want the government to focus on saving livelihoods and lives not on their own political survival or political posts.
How then can an Emergency Proclamation redress such obvious shortcomings from the PN government when Parliament is suspended. How will the problems in mismanagement, abuse of power and the sufferings of the rakyat be brought forward by MPs without any parliamentary meetings? How can the failure of Ministers to do their jobs properly be highlighted?
For this reason, the suspension of Parliament and the State Assembly should be revoked to allow MPs to bring up and compel PN government to offer urgent financial measures accompanying the MCO to save jobs, businesses and livelihood. If the Executive and judiciary branch of government can function normally, why not the Legislature which is the highest level in our Federal Constitution.
DAP regrets that the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar bin Harun, has failed to defend the supremacy of Parliament by supporting Muhyiddin’s Emergency suspending Parliament. Azhar supporting the suspension of Parliament, poses the query of whether there is any point then of having a Speaker of Parliament.