Lim Guan Eng today questioned law minister Takiyuddin Hassan’s assurance that Parliament would convene “before or after” the emergency ends in August, saying it was hard to trust someone who had broken promises before.
In a statement, the DAP secretary-general said one such broken promise was the Undi18 initiative, where Takiyuddin had assured 18-year-olds that they would be able to vote by July this year, but it turned out that the move would only be implemented after September 2022.
“Assurances that Parliament will reconvene at the right time before or after the end of the Emergency on Aug 1 have no value when he (Takiyuddin) has shown himself to be untrustworthy, having broken his earlier promise.
“If Takiyuddin dares to mislead Parliament (over Undi18), how can we have faith in his public statement?” the Bagan MP asked.
According to Lim, Takiyuddin’s claim that the government was functioning normally and that the public’s views could be voiced through a special committee on the emergency ignores constitutional rights and violates the electoral mandate granted to MPs by voters.
He said Takiyuddin’s assurance that abuse of power was being monitored by anti-graft, audit and public accounts committee bodies during the emergency was “dishonest”, as it continues to be seen as a political weapon against opposition leaders.
Meanwhile, lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said Takiyuddin’s statement was “superficial” at best as it failed to answer basic questions on why Parliament could not sit when other gatherings, such as Ramadan bazaars, could go on.
He added that more people are starting to see that the government is unable to address economic, Covid-19 and political instability.
Rafique also said Takiyuddin should stick to advising the Cabinet on legal matters and not come out with “self-serving statements”.
“The excuses to proclaim an emergency, and not to convene Parliament have become material for jokes of late,” he said.
In a statement today, Takiyuddin had assured that Parliament will reconvene at the right time, which could be before or after the emergency ends, amid growing calls for the emergency to be ended.
He said while the government was aware of its constitutional responsibilities to ensure the continuity of the democratic process in the country through Parliament, the priority was to ensure that the epidemic was fully controlled. – FMT