We have a government that has failed. We have a Parliament that won’t sit. We have a democracy that doesn’t work.
This leaves suffering Malaysians in the lurch.
We have a government that desperately wanted an emergency to tackle Covid and bring it under control. Armed with the emergency and enormous powers under the emergency ordinances, this government has nonetheless failed to bring the pandemic under control. Indeed, Covid has spiralled out of control during the emergency, which has been in force for nearly seven months.
This government is more keen on consolidating its powers and entrenching itself at the expense of the welfare of the nation and its people. It is a government that is unable to solve our problems with sound planning and effective policies. It is a failed government.
We have a parliament that stands out as a majestic building and as a symbol of our democracy. This is where the people’s voices and grievances are articulated and their aspirations and hopes uttered. But Parliament is unable to meet.
We have a speaker who obstructs Parliament from functioning democratically. He rejects motions submitted, rules that queries need not be answered immediately, and tells elected people’s representatives that their questions would be answered a week later, on the following Monday (2 August). But on Sunday (1 August), the scheduled sitting of Parliament on Monday was cancelled. It all appeared like a well-planned plot falling into place, thus frustrating the democratic process.
The recent spate of signed letters from Umno MPs withdrawing support for the prime minister has clearly established that the PM does not have majority support in Parliament, contradicting his bogus claim that he has. And yet there seems to be no mechanism requiring him to disclose the numbers and names to provide solid proof he is the legitimate PM. Democracy is unable to move forward.
With daily Covid infections in Malaysia soaring dangerously beyond the 20,000 mark on 5 August, with this threatening development screaming for urgent action to save Malaysia, we have a situation where the fragile position of the government receives the utmost attention so that it can remain in power – not the danger posed by the pandemic. This seems to be the time for alleged corruption and bribery to win over support for the PM. When the nation’s health and the people’s security are crying for priority attention and focus, democracy does not seem to have a role to play in ousting these selfish characters from office.
In defiance and showing indifference to the plight of the jobless and the homeless, the PM appointed the Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu yesterday as his special adviser with the status of minister.
We already have the biggest cabinet in the world, and we wonder how necessary is this one more minister to fight the Covid pandemic successfully. It is going to cost taxpayers extra money to pay the salary and perks that come with the position of the newly minted minister. This move is to consolidate the PM’s position through an inducement. This is how democracy is being abused by this failed government.
Surprisingly, the PM receives the royal assent to subject himself to a vote of confidence – but only in September, when the urgent need for that vote to be taken is now. There is provision in the standing orders for Parliament to be reconvened immediately without the 28-day notice.
Why doesn’t democracy allow this provision to operate for the convening of Parliament? “Dialogue is the essence of parliamentary politics,” as rightly pointed out by prominent Indian legislator Sharad Pawar. But they are preventing this dialogue by shutting down Parliament.
Some years back, Aliran organised a fund-raising dinner with the theme “People First, Democracy now”. This should become our rallying cry in our attempt to oust Mahiaddin Yasin:
People First, Democracy Now!
A failed government has forfeited the right to govern Malaysia.
Let’s listen to Aristotle, who said: “They should rule who are able to rule best.”