Muhyiddin’s first task on his return to work after two-week quarantine should be to convene a specialised Parliamentary meeting in June focussed on Covid-19 outbreak

The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin’s first task as Prime Minister on his return to work after a two-week quarantine should be to convene a specialised Parliamentary meeting in June focussed on the Covid-19 outbreak.

Malaysia should not go down in history as the only country which cannot unite the energies of the people to face the Covid-19 pandemic because of inability to legitimise a backdoor government and is forced to lockdown Parliament and cripple the constitutional role of Members of Parliament to provide oversight and scrutiny of the Executive to improve the quality of government during the pandemic.

Even in countries badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, like Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and France (respectively the world’s present Top No. 4,5, 8 and 12 in terms of cumulative total of Covid-19 cases), their Parliaments continue to sit to perform their role of oversight and scrutiny, and the same applies to the Parliaments of Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines.

The same applies to the Parliaments of Japan and South Korea. In fact, South Korea held a parliamentary election in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak in the middle of April to vote for 300 members of the National Assembly.

Why then should Malaysia go down the road of infamy of locking down Parliament under Muhyiddin?

The fact that there had been no death in Malaysia in the Covd-19 outbreak for the last 13 days is most commendable and an excellent reflection of the professionalism and dedication of the frontliners and the co-operation of the people in the war to contain the coronavirus.

The daily increase of Covid-19 case is under control, and apart from migrant workers, it has mostly been reduced to single-digit figures.

Now Malaysia is faced is the greatest challenge - to learn to live with the virus until a vaccine or cure is found, which may take up to five years. The success cannot depend on the fiat of the government, but the unity, support and co-operation of the people

How are Malaysians to continue not only to win the public health war and to prevent any resurgence, but also to successfully bring about an economic recovery, re-opening of educational institutions and the restoration of national life in Malaysia which had been seriously paralysed by the pandemic?

This is why the restoration of parliamentary democracy is important – for the tabling and approval of an exit plan strategy and blueprint in Parliament which is accepted by all sectors of the Malaysian society as the Malaysian National Recovery Plan from Covid-19 Pandemic.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri