Media Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:
This is great news as the current Prime Minister and government cannot hide behind the YDP Agong anymore and must face scrutiny from Parliament.
During this unprecedented time, Parliament plays a pivotal role to provide 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 the initial move by the PN government to suspend Parliament is worrying and a threat to democracy as the executive cannot have free rein over the country’s affairs, without being held accountable by Parliament.
This also clearly contravenes the Federal Constitution where it clearly states in Article 43(3) of the Constitution that “The Cabinet shall be collectively responsible to Parliament”
The Constitution never envisaged that Parliament would be suspended in a proclamation of emergency. In fact, for 35 years from 1977 to 2012, Parliament had operated under four Proclamations of Emergency.
That is why the government’s move to suspend Parliament and all legitimate activities of Parliament in the guise of an Emergency is somewhat draconian and a huge step back in parliamentary democracy.
Without legislative scrutiny and accountability, the Executives becomes overly powerful without checks and balance. This is extremely dangerous during time of pandemic when unprecedented amounts of funds to manage the Covid-19 pandemic are being allocated.
With now the public statement from the YDP Agong, I hope the Government will reconvene Parliament as early as March so that we can play our part to not just provide oversight to the government’s approach towards COvid-19, but also to raise different issues faced by our constituents and push the government to set their plans how they intend to stimulate the current economy for good of the people.
All MPs, from both political divide must welcome this announcement as we need to defend the independence and role of the legislature especially the urgent need to provide proper oversight, check & balance in the spirit of transparency and accountability.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching