Pakatan Harapan (PH), Bersatu and Warisan leaders today issued a joint statement condemning the directive on only having the King’s address for the parliamentary session slated for next Monday.
They said that the directive is regrettable and disappointing, as Parliament should serve as a vehicle for the people’s voice and a pillar of democracy as the action by Perikatan Nasional (PN) shows that it is afraid of meeting Opposition MPs.
“It is also the first time in the history of over six decades of the Malaysian Parliament that a meeting is held without a full meeting.
“This action must be seen by the people as the prime minister’s refusal to face Opposition MPs,” said the statement signed by Opposition leader and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim; Amanah president Mohamad Sabu; DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng; Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad; and Warisan president Datuk Seri Shapie Apdal today.
The Opposition also expressed its shock over the announcement of the change in the Secretary of the Dewan Rakyat effective May 13, just five days before Parliament will hear the Royal Address.
However, the parties said they will work together to ensure the people’s mandate is restored in Parliament.
“This is particularly troubling because it gives the perception that certain parties wield an influence over parliamentary institutions.
“However, the efforts of Opposition MPs from Pakatan Harapan, Bersatu and Warisan to restore the people’s mandate to a place that should not have been interfered with by these directives will continue,” said the statement.
The first parliamentary meeting for the year was initially scheduled for March 9 to April 16 but was postponed to May 18 following the collapse of the PH government and the formation of the PN administration.
However, PN then shortened the meeting to just one day, citing the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Opposition has been pressuring Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to extend Monday’s sitting to at least two days, citing concerns over the lack of time to scrutinise the PN administration’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof had also accepted a submission by Dr Mahathir for a no-confidence motion to be tabled in Dewan Rakyat but did not specify a date for the vote to be called.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah is expected to grace the opening ceremony of the First Meeting of the Third Term of the 14th Parliament on Monday.
Today, Secretary to the Dewan Rakyat (SUDR) Riduan Rahmat, who was appointed on February 22, was replaced by former deputy department secretary of the Cabinet, Constitution and Inter-Government Relation Division in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin.
The move was criticised by PKR Senator Yusmadi Yusoff as a sign of alleged interference by the executive branch in the legislative branch under the separation of powers doctrine. – MMO