One swallow does not make a summer. Can there be more swallows?

For the first time, the UMNO President Zahid Hamidi’s desperate hurry for the dissolution of Parliament for the holding of immediate 15th General Election seem to be close at hand and the possibilityy of Parliament being dissolved after Oct. 7 after the 2023 Budget had been presented to the Dewan Rakyat cannot be ruled out.

The example of Parliament being dissolved after the Budget was presented but before it was passed by both Houses of Parliament and given the Royal Assent had happened once before in 1999, but I had said that the Prime Minister Ismail Sabri should not following this wrong and bad example which tantamount to the Prime Minister misusing his powers.

On Friday, 29th October 1999, the 2,000 Budget was presented to the Dewan Rakyat by the then Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, but before the 2,000 Budget was passed, Parliament was dissolved while debating the 2000 Budget in mid-stream on Nov. 10, 1999.

I remember the day of the dissolution of Parliament in 1999. It was a Tuesday and the sixth day of the debate on the 2000 Budget, but Members of Parliament were not interested in the 2000 Budget as words had got around that Parliament was to be dissolved on that day.

I remember asking the Deputy Speaker who was presiding before Dewan Rakyat adjourned for lunch on 10th November 1999 whether Parliament would be dissolved, that day, and the Deputy Speaker who is now the Yang di Pertua of Sabah said he did not know.

When Dewan Rakyat resumed after lunch at 2.30 pm., the Speaker announced that he had been informed that Parliament had been dissolved by the Yang di Pertuan Agong, and the debate on the 2000 Budget ended abruptly for the holding of the 10th General Election in Malaysia. The same budget for 2,000 was presented after the 1999 General Election.

The 1999 example of dissolution of Parliament is a wrong and bad example where the Budget was presented to Parliament and Parliament not allowed to debate and pass the budget but was dissolved for the holding of general election.

It is a misuse of Prime Ministerial power, and if Ismail Sabri asks the Yang di Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament after Oct. 7, the Yang di Pertuan Agong should advise the Prime Minister to let Parliament debate and pass the 2023 Budget unless a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister is adopted by Dewan Rakyat.

Is Zahid going to move a vote of no confidence against Ismail Sabri as Prime Minister?

Why is Zahid desperate for Parliament to be dissolved as fast as possible – is it to escape a jail sentence or is it in the interests of UMNO and country?

The jailing of former Prime Minister, Najib Razak and the corruption conviction of his wife, Rosmah Mansor may bring about a sea-change in Malaysian politics.

The UMNO leadership has positioned itself not only as the defender of the mega and monstrous 1MDB scandal, but put itself in the forefront of forces subverting the original nation-building principles and policies which have guided the four first UMNO Presidents, Onn Jafaar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Razak Hussein and Hussein Onn by attacking the doctrine of the separation of powers and the principles of the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, good governance and respect for human rights.

Can Malaysia conduct a major reset and return to the original nation-building principles and policies as embedded in the Constitution and Rukun Negara?

Two recent even gave hope that Malaysia can achieve a major reset to return to the original nation-building policies,firstly reference for the former lord president Salleh Abas by the judiciary, where the Chief Justice, Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said that the constitutional crisis of 1988 had shown that despite attempts to undermine the independence of the judiciary, judges must be faithful to the Federal Constitution and be resolute in upholding the rule of law; and secondly, the recent comment of the former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam that he had never seen the country’s courts act so independently on political matters before.

One swallow does not make a summer. Can there be more swallows?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri