Parliament special meeting on Covid-19 pandemic has turned into a test whether Malaysia has a responsible Prime Minister and de facto Law Minister over the revocation of six Emergency Ordinances
The five-day Parliament special meeting on the Covid-19 pandemic has met for two days, but it has turned into a test whether Malaysia has a responsible Prime Minister and de facto Law Minister instead of an inquiry into the mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic which saw the country joining 31 countries with a cumulative total of a million Covid-19 cases and setting new record for daily new Covid-19 deaths.
Much time yesterday and today in Parliament were spent on the purported “revocation” of the six Emergency Ordinances by the Cabinet on July 21, and despite many attempts by Pakatan Harapan leaders and Opposition Members of Parliament, no clarification had been forthcoming about the so-called “revocation” of six Emergency Ordinances by the Cabinet on July 21, and many questions remained unanswered, including:
- Whether six Emergency Ordinances were properly “revoked” on July 21, 2021;
- Whether the revocation of the six Emergency Ordinances had been given the Royal Assent;
- Whether the revocation and when the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances had been gazett6ed;
- Whether the compound fines, penalties and prosecutions under the six Emergency Ordinance from July 21, 2021 were lawful and valid;
- Why the nation and Parliament were not informed of the “revocation” of the six Emergency Ordinances when they were laid before the Dewan Rakyat until it was “blurted out” by the de facto Law Minster in Parliament five days later on July 26, 2021;
- Why the country and Parliament must continue to be kept in the dark on the issue until next Monday on August 2, when the Deputy Prime Minister presents a Ministerial statement in Parliament;
- Whether and when the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat and the President of Dewan Negara were respectively and properly informed that the six Emergency Ordinances had been “revoked”;
- Whether the Prime Minister and the de facto Law Minister had been guilty of serious breaches of privilege and should be referred to the Committee of Privileges in not informing the Dewan Rakyat on the revocation of the six Emergency Ordinances.
Yesterday, at the end of the Prime Minister’s Ministerial statement on the National Recovery Plan, the Prime Minister was smiling and nodded his head when the de facto Law Minister made the startling revelation that six Emergency Ordinances had been revoked by the Cabinet on July 21 although Parliament and the nation knew nothing about it.
I had asked the Prime Minister to give a satisfactory explanation why he had misled Parliament and the nation for five days about the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances by the Cabinet on 21st July, as even the Parliament Speaker was not aware of it or this would be the proper explanation by the Speaker for rejecting the motions of DAP MP for Bruas, Ngeh Koo Ham, to annul the Emergency Ordinances as events have overtaken with the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances.
I also said that if the Prime Minister was unable to give any satisfactory explanation, then he should be referred to the Committee of Privileges for misleading Parliament.
But Muhyiddin was not in Parliament to respond to the clarifications sought by Members of Parliament at the winding-up stage and the buck was passed to Finance Minister, Senator Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, who was unable to clarify on behalf of the Prime Minister with regard to the effect of the revocation of the six Emergency Ordinances by the Cabinet on July 21.
The Prime Minister came into Parliament this morning when DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo raised a point of order on the revocation of the six Emergency Ordinances.
All that the de facto Law Minister, Takiyuddin Hassan, would say, with the knowledge and consent of the Prime Minister who was present, was that he was bound by the ruling by the Parliament Speaker to answer such questions next Monday.
This is the height of irresponsibility, for the issue whether the six Emergency Ordinances had been properly revoked, as in getting the Royal Assent and published in gazettes, is not only a Parliamentary issue but of national importance.
How can Parliamentary standing orders stand in the way of the right of 33 million Malaysians to know whether the six emergency Ordinances had been properly revoked?
Even if the Parliamentary standing order prohibits it, which I do not agree, why the Prime Minister failed to exercise leadership and responsibility by stepping outside the chamber to inform the media the true nature of the revocation of the six Emergency Ordinances in view of its larger national importance?
There are only two scenarios: firstly, that the six Emergency Ordinances had been properly revoked, i.e.decided by the Cabinet, given the Royal Assent by the Yang di Pertuan Agong and gazetted; secondly, that the six Emergency Ordinances had NOT been properly revoked, that it was decided by the Cabinet but not yet given the Royal Assent nor gazetted.
Which is which?
If it is the former scenario, why is the Prime Minister and de facto Law Minister shy in admitting it and want to wait until Parliament meets on Monday.
Is it the latter scenario? Is the de facto hoping that by Monday, he can report to Parliament that the six Emergency Ordinances have been given the Royal Assent and gazetted?
Whatever the scenario, this is an important lesson of the need to exercise good leadership and responsibility at all times.
The events have proved that Malaysia has a most irresponsible Prime Minister and de facto Law Minister, both of whom should be referred to the Dewan Rakyat Committee of Privileges.