COVID19, English, Govt

Since PN said Parliament cannot sit due to risk of Covid-19, let Parliament now reconvene to promote vaccine confidence

Media statement by Steven Sim, MP for Bukit Mertajam

19 MARCH 2021 | BUKIT MERTAJAM, PENANG

The constant shifting of goal posts by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to avoid calling for Parliament meetings is becoming a joke because it is clear that all these are merely excuses to suspend Parliament for PN’s own political survival.

The latest excuse being, Parliament cannot reconvene due to the high risk posed by Covid-19 to nearly half of the Members of Parliament who are elderly.

PN is regressing Malaysia in many areas, whether economy, governance, fight against corruption, freedom of the media, rule of law etc. But the most severe and the most detrimental regression is the collapse of our democracy; first by the coup against an elected government, second by the inducement of elected representatives to switch sides by corrupt means, and third by the suspension of Parliament.

The suspension of Parliament is clearly dangerous to our democracy. Laws are now being made haphazardly, for example the cruel, harsh and irrational RM10,000 compound for breaking Covid-19 SOP. Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Takiyuddin Hassan himself admitted that the new law was passed without clear guidelines for implementation almost a week after 1331 people were issued with the RM10,000 compound.

The Yang DiPertuan Agong had also stated that Parliament can function normally even during the current state of Emergency.

Since the latest excuse given by PN is the risk posed by the virus to elderly MPs – which is nonsensical given that the Dewan Rakyat has met for 55 days since MCO started in March 2020 – I call upon Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Health Minister Dr. Adham Baba, and, Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who is heading the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, to state their stance to reconvene Parliament to build vaccine confidence. If MPs are afraid to resume our important duty despite already being inoculated, then what is the point of this expensive mass vaccination programme?

DAP and Pakatan Harapan have set aside political differences and are actively assisting the government to promote vaccine confidence and increase participation in the immunisation programme among Malaysians. Will PN leaders now step forward to also promote vaccine confidence by reconvening Parliament before the end of March 2021?

Steven Sim Chee Keong
Member of Parliament for Bukit Mertajam

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