Public trust and confidence in Malaysia shattered by a government which is the worst offender of “politicking ” although it is camouflaged as “doing national good”

Yesterday, the Thai Parliament passed a RM252 billion economic support package to ease the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which included aid to farmers and informal workers such as street vendors and those employed in massage parlours and bars who have seen their work dry up.

A week ago, the Singapore Parliament passed a $S33 billion supplementary budget aimed primarily at helping workers and businesses to tide over the Covid-19 crisis and the bleak economic outlook ahead.

Called the Fortitude Budget, it is Singapore’s fourth Budget in less than four months after the earlier Unity, Resilience and Solidarity Budgets, totalling close to $S100 billion – or nearly 20 per cent of GDP – to support Singaporeans in the battle against Covid-19 outbreak.

In the Philippines, the House of Representatives has continued to sit, using a combination of remote and face-to-face meetings since 23 March to pass legislation to give the government the necessary tools to fight COVID-19. A parliamentary Defeat COVID-19 Committee has been set up and meets by videoconference at least twice a week.

In Indonesia, the House of Representatives continued to meet focussing on regulations related to the Covid-19 outbreak, such as endorsing a bill revising the Disaster Management Law, which will give more authority to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and increase the minimum budget allocation for disaster management in the state budget.

Only in Malaysia is the Parliament locked down, with Members of Parliament unable to perform their constitutional role to provide oversight and scrutiny of the Executive during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although Malaysia was the leading nation in Southeast Asia in the number of Covid-19 infections when the movement control order (MCO) was imposed on March 18 (when Malaysia had 790 cases, Indonesia 227 cases and Philippines 202 cases), we lost out to Philippines on April 13, when Philippines had a cumulative total of 4,932 infections as compared to Malaysia’s 4,817 cases, and lost out to Indonesia on April 15, when Indonesia recorded a cumulative total of 5,136 cases as against Malaysia’s 5,072 cases.

Today, with 7,819 cases Malaysia is way behind Indonesia (26,473 cases) and Philippines (18,086 cases). We have also done better in terms of Covid-19 deaths: Malaysia (115), Indonesia (1,613) and the Philippines (957).

Can the Prime Minister offer a rational reason why the Malaysian Parliament is locked down and MPs prevented from carrying out their role of oversight and scrutiny of the Executive?

In London, a political crisis is developing with United Kingdom’s top public health leaders warning the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that trust in government had been shattered by the Dominic Commings affair and posed new danger to life when lockdown measures are lifted this week.

Cummings, Johnson’s top aide, has been embroiled in a scandal after he was seen in Durham, 264 miles from his London home, despite having had coronavirus symptoms.

What about public trust and confidence in government in Malaysia?

Without touching on the ignominous Sheraton Move, it is now clear that the backdoor Prime Minister and Cabinet are the worst offenders in “politicking” although camouflaged initially under very noble terms – with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin claiming that since becoming Prime Minister, he had had not thought about politics as the people were “sick” of it.

It is now clear that since becoming Prime Minister on March 1, Muhyiddin had not stopped thinking about and acting on politics although he knew that the people were “sick” of it.

Hence the following “politicking”:

  • The lockup of Parliament and paralysis of MPs’ constitutional role of oversight and scrutiny of the Executive during the pandemic;
  • Criminal acts of gratification to induce support by MPs through the enticement of Ministerships and GLC positions;
  • Abuses of power, rampant corruption, revival of kleptocracy and widespread of human rights; and
  • The unconstitutional “nullification” of the Bersatu membership of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Mukhriz Mahathir, Maszlee Malik, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Amiruddin Hamzah.

All these acts have one result: the shattering of public trust and confidence in the government, especially with regards to its bona fides in the various aspects of the invisible war against Covid-19 outbreak.

Will the government come clean with the surfacing of an audio-recording on the enticement of Ministerships and GLC positions?

Public trust and confidence in Malaysia has been shattered by a government which is the worst offender of “politicking ” although it is camouflaged as “doing national good”!

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri