Reconvene Parliament by end of April as all MPs vaccinated by then, Kit Siang tells PN

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Guan Eng urges MPs to push for Parliament to be restored.

DAP MP Lim Kit Siang has urged the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government today to convene Parliament by the end of April since all MPs would likely have received their Covid-19 vaccine by then.

The Iskandar Puteri MP said that the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should let the Parliament decide whether the Emergency Ordinances can be enacted as law or forsaken.

“The omnibus Muhyiddin Cabinet next Wednesday should convene Parliament by the end of April as all Members of Parliament, whether government or opposition, would have been vaccinated against Covid-19 by then.

Ahmad Zamzahuri

“Let Parliament at the end of April decide whether the emergency ordinances should be turned into law or abandoned, reflecting the mandate of the people,” he said in a statement.

The veteran DAP lawmaker added that there are no reasons for Parliament to be halted because it can still refuse entry to MPs who have yet to be vaccinated.

Lim said that since various sections of national life and economy has been reopened, Parliament also should also be allowed to be in session.

He also mentioned on the recently announced Emergency Ordinances such as the raise of Covid-19 regulations breach penalties and fake news have detrimental effects in public trust and confidence in combating the pandemic.

“The Emergency Ordinances should be immediately suspended, and they could be presented to Parliament at the end of April for decision,” he said.

He said that Yang di-Pertuan Agong also has declared the state of Emergency does not preclude the convening of Parliament.

Yesterday, Lim and Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim said the introduction of a three-tiered system to punish offenders who break the Emergency laws meant to safeguard against Covid-19 will worsen the situation rather than fix the problem.

Lim mentioned that the government’s latest initiative to divide the offences under the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 into three categories remains disproportionate.

Provisions within the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 state that a person found breaching MCO SOPs is subject to a fine compoundable up to a sum of RM10,000, a tenfold increase from the previous maximum compound value of RM1,000.

On Wednesday, de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said individuals and companies who have been compounded under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 are eligible for a 50 percent discount if they settle the fine within seven days of its issuance.

Takiyuddin also said the government has fixed the fine amount for first-time offenders at RM1,500 for standard offences committed on the wearing of face-masks and MySejahtera registrations.

Meanwhile, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng called for all Opposition and like-minded government MPs to join forces and press the government to convene Parliament.

In a statement, the Bagan MP said the Perikatan Nasional government must be made to publicly address matters related to the pandemic and revitalising the economy.

“It is ridiculous that all schools, pasar malams, Ramadan Bazaars, business establishments and stadiums are permitted to be open but not Parliament.

Bernama

“All Opposition parties should unite together with like-minded individual government MPs to rescue this nation and restore a suspended Parliament. Just as during DAP’s inception in 1966, we are still guided by the same objective to protect, preserve and promote our Federal Constitution,” Lim said.

He then criticised the Pemerkasa economic recovery programme, saying this did not contain measures to address fundamental issues with the country’s economy and welfare.

“What is the point of giving RM500 one-off assistance to individuals and RM3,000 one-off grants to small businesses when they can be fined RM10,000 for individuals and RM50,000 for businesses for breaching movement control order (MCO) restrictions?

“Giving a little with the right hand but taking more with the left hand does not help to lessen the financial burden of the rakyat,” he said.

He urged the government to rescind the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, saying the penalty was unfair when not all Malaysians were treated equally.

Lim said such matters must urgently be examined in Parliament.

Malaysia is under an Emergency lasting until August. All state and federal legislatures as well as elections are suspended during this time. – MMO