Allow PAC & PSC To Function In Parliament During Emergency



Even upon the advice of Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s, the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has yet to be seen to heed the advice and take necessary steps to reconvene Parliament as soon as possible

The bare minimum, especially if the PM is so concerned about certain quarters “playing politics”, he should at least allow the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and all Parliamentary Select Committee to function to provide necessary bi-partisan oversight during this unprecedented period.

With the announcement of the latest RM11b fiscal injection of the “Pemerkasa stimulus package” shows greater urgency for both PAC & PSCs to be allowed to function to provide scrutiny and check-and-balance which is the pillar on a nation’s democracy

During such pandemic, where billions of public funds of money is being used, it is of utmost importance that all matters, procedures and financial procedures of the country are complied with so that people’s money is really being spent prudently and efficiently. PAC must be allowed to play an effective role in providing a ‘check and balance’ mechanism in the democratic system to the Government to promote the spirit of transparency and accountability especially during this period.

The Parliament Select Committees (PSC) must also be allowed to convene even during the current Emergency to provide important Parliamentary oversight especially over our country’s approach towards Covid-19 and to get updates on our nation’s biggest National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP).

If the Malaysian government is so confident in its management of Covid, it must then must not be afraid to be accountable and release more data and face questions from MPs especially in the PSCs. However, the government’s lack of sufficient explanation in its approach has placed needless strain on public confidence which is a critical element in effective public health crisis management.

It is important that the Minister’s and government are open and transparent about the reality facing the nation, and to provide clarity in their decision-making based on science and evidence, in order to fight this pandemic successfully.

There must be accountability for decisions and the data on which they are based must be clear and transparent. Failure to provide sufficient explanation of the data underpins key decisions during Covid-19 which will then erode public trust which is what we are seeing now in our country.

That is why, during this unprecedented time, both the PAC and PSCs plays a pivotal role to provide a bi-partisan parliamentary oversight to empower a more transparent, trustworthy, and unique legislature that is appropriate for current pandemic. This will also help build confidence and acceptance of the government’s approach towards the pandemic especially during the vaccine rollout.

That is why we call upon the Speaker of the House Datuk Azhar bin Azizan Harun to also make the same stand and defend the sanctity of the Parliament and also the principles of separation of power. We need Parliament, or at least the PAC & PSC to convene and do its service to our nation in order to protect the principle and spirit of democracy in our nation.

YB Wong Kah Woh (MP Ipoh Timur)
Chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

YB Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen (MP Bandar Kuching)
Chairman PSC Health, Science & Innovation