Immediate, humiliating and drastic demotion of Dewan Rakyat Secretary, Riduan Rahmat, even without the decency of 24 hours’ notice, raises disturbing question about the PN government’s commitment to parliamentary democracy and the fundamental principle of the Malaysian Constitution on the doctrine of separation of powers
The immediate, humiliating and drastic demotion of Dewan Rakyat Secretary, Riduan Rahmat, where he was not even given the decency of 24 hours’ notice, raises the disturbing question about the Perikatan Nasional government’s commitment to parliamentary democracy and the fundamental principle of the Malaysian Constitution on the doctrine of separation of powers among the executive, Parliament and the judiciary.
Is this the Cabinet’s demonstration of its arrogance of power to express its displeasure that Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s motion of no confidence had been accepted by Parliament, which also resulted in the further truncation of the parliamentary business on May 18 to only permit the delivery of the Royal Address by the Yang di Pertuan Agong?
Riduan’s last act as Secretary of Dewan Rakyat was to send out a notice dated May 13, 2020 to all Members of Parliament informing them that the business of Parliament on May 18 had been truncated to the delivery of the Royal Address.
In the notice, Riduan attached a one-page “takwim” of the May 18 Parliament, leaving open the question whether the earlier notices on the Parliament takwim this year would be subject to further changes.
In his earlier notice of April 17, Riduan had sent the twice-revised takwim of Parliament, i.e. 25 sittings of Parliament from July 13 to August 27; and 36 parliamentary sittings in 2021 budget meeting from 28th September to 26th November.
The takwim of Parliament this year had already been changed twice.
In his notice to MPs dated 4th March, Riduan informed MPs that Parliament would meet for 15 sittings from 18th May to 23rd June (with eight day allocated to the backbenchers’ debate on the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address, five days for Ministerial replies and one day on government business), 17 sittings from 27th July to 27th August, and 36 sittings for the 2021 budget meeting from 28th September to 26th November – making a total of 71 sittings.
This was itself at variance with the takwim for the first meeting of Parliament in 2020, which was sent out to MPs by the former Setiausaha of Dewan Rakyat, Datuk Roosme binti Hamzah that the Dewan Rakyat would meet for 24 sittings from March 9 to April 16, followed by 21 sittings from 20th July to 27th August and finally for 32 sittings for the 2021 budget meeting from 28th September to 19th November 2020 – making a total of 77 sittings in 2020.
Already, the Parliament takwim this year has been shortened from the original 77 sittings to 62 sittings. The backbenchers’ debate on the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address have also been halved from eight days to four days.
Will there be further slashing and reductions in the Parliament takwim for this year?