Muhyiddin Defends Bypassing Parliament to Allocate Urgently-Needed Covid-19 Funds

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The Perikatan Nasional government had to take immediate action to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic without first tabling it in Dewan Rakyat.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the public needed immediate assistance as they were faced with a difficult and complicated situation and could not wait for the Parliament sitting which began today.

He was responding to a question by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on why the stimulus package was not debated in Parliament.

“The impact is huge, the amount is huge. Is it not reasonable to let MPs debate it? Why did we prevent debate about the economic recovery while the appointments in government-linked companies can continue?” he says in reference to the government’s decision to prevent any debate during the one-day Parliament sitting on May 18.

“I have expected this question as we’ve heard about this before. Thus, the government had no choice but to take action even before Parliament started meeting. The Finance Minister will table the numerous incentives in detail during this session.

“We couldn’t wait for Parliament to start, as institutions were collapsing; businesses were collapsing. The people needed solutions (immediately).

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

“It is the responsibility of the government to safeguard the wellbeing of the people,” he said.

The prime minister said he understands the duties of the members of Parliament who had a responsibility to bring up the question of national expenditure, but the government had a duty to look after the people who were facing difficulties.

“There were dozens of initiatives that we had to implement because out there, the people were waiting. They could not wait for this Parliament sitting, they wanted assistance to be given now,” he said.

He stressed that the government was aware of the laws and regulations of spending so that it does not exceed the ceiling level.