Speaker Art Harun’s statement as reported on 30 May laughable!

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Legalities aside (in view of the fact that it is public knowledge that several legal challenges remain pending), I wonder what Art might say about the moral propriety of the decision of the government to silence Parliament.

FMT

Saying “Whether we like it or not, that is the power of the cabinet or executive and that power has been exercised” reeks of superiority and is quite frankly, patronising.

Is it not crucial that that power is exercised fairly, honestly and with a conscience. Surely that power cannot be (ab)used to suit the purpose of the day.

So now having defended the closure of the House, one does wonder whether Art has considered these conundrums which have no doubt been on the minds of regular Malaysians.

  1. MPs were among the first to be vaccinated, thus containing the spread of the virus within the walls of parliament. Also, there were news of some transparent partitions having been put in place. Was it for show?

2. Several other countries have begun online Parliamentary sittings. Something never explored by the current administration here. Even school children have made the transition, so why the resistance to go digital?

3. Public funds are being torn into without justification or checks. The taxpayer has a right to know how her money is being used. Even during a pandemic. Especially in the face of not only to monetary deficit but also a trust deficit.

4. Fundamental decisions about the country’s healthcare, finances and laws etc are being made by just a handful of people, with no (or minimal) consultation with members of the opposition, who also represent a large segment of society. Exchanging ideas in a time of national crisis may not be a bad idea. Not to mention it might have something to do with this absolutely fundamental concept called ‘Democracy’.

5. Whispers of Undertakings have been heard, which should allay fears of a takeover, a coup, a Sheraton move. In any event, when have such motions ever seen the light of day in our Parliament.

So, while it is easy to take the stand that ‘a decision has been made, whether we like it or not’, it utterly fails to restore trust in the administration if the decision cannot withstand a moral challenge.

Media Statement by Sangeet Kaur Deo dated 2 June 2021.