A state of emergency can permit government contracts to be awarded directly without open tenders without any accountability from a suspended Parliament

The King is his royal emergency decree did not mention at all about suspending Parliament and the State Assembly. Even the royal decree mentioning that the Emergency can end sooner than 1 August, is not mentioned in the Emergency Proclamation signed by Muhyiddin. Has Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin exceeded then his authority?

By suspending and silencing Parliament, Muhyiddin no longer fears that he has already lost his Parliamentary majority, with only 109 out of 220 MPs supporting his administration. Worse the Emergency allows him to pass any laws as he likes without going through Parliament, or even arrest anyone he does not like.

The Movement Control Order(MCO) lockdown, has been deemed sufficient to deal with the surge in COVID-19 infections. How does suspending Parliament and arming Muhyiddin with emergency powers help in winning the battle against COVID-19? There are no extra measures under Emergency powers that are not already provided under existing laws or the MCO.

Even huge government procurement contracts can be signed through negotiated tenders without practicing open tenders. Direct or negotiated tenders has been cited as the main cause of corrupt practices and abuse of power by Transparency International. A suspended and silenced Parliament can no longer demand accountability regarding the award of contracts without open tenders from this unelected government.

PN Should Not Compound Their Refusal To Offer Financial Help By Forcing Business Closures Through Prohibiting Businesses That Are Free From COVID-19 From Operating.

Further with Parliament silenced, how can the people’s grievances, especially from the Small Medium Enterprises affected by the lockdown, be addressed. I have received many complaints of the difficulty of businesses getting approvals to operate during the lockdown period because they were not considered essential services.

Whilst I would agree that the construction sector is an essential service that should continue operating, there are many cases of COVID-19 amongst workers in the construction sector. And yet, there are many other businesses that have very few or even no COVID-19 cases, but still not allowed to operate just because they are not classified as an essential service.

What is the logic of disallowing businesses not classified as an essential service and are free of COVID-19 from operating, as compared to essential service industries recording a high number of COVID-19 cases? Whilst we are committed to saving lives, this should not come at the cost of killing off livelihoods of businesses that observe standard health protocols and have very few COVID-19 cases.

Since the government refuses to offer any financial help or a new economic stimulus package, small businesses are already suffering and should not be prohibited from operating, if they have very few COVID cases. Otherwise, the government is responsible for forcing more business closures and job losses.

DAP SECRETARY-GENERAL & MP FOR BAGAN
Media statement by Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 14th January 2021