Press Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:
Countries all around the world including Singapore, Japan, Australia, Lebanon, Cambodia and even Myanmar are having Parliament sessions to debate and pass Bills on essential matters especially on Covid-19, while practicing proper social distancing and precautions.
Why can’t Malaysia?
This for me is a mockery to the parliamentary system and its essential role especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.
For MPs from East Malaysia, we have to spend so much resources and time to travel all the way to KL, even with the limited flights available, do the COVID-19 testing in parliament today and stay here for a week, merely to attend a 1 day ceremonial session just to fulfill a constitutional requirement.
Imagine how much money the government is spending just for this session and yet they do not want to maximize its role. If it is just to hear a speech, we can watch it from home.
While it is likely that this move was ordered by the PM due to his concerns on facing a possible no-confidence motion in Parliament, BUT what is more important, is that it it deprives the parliament of its role to check and balance the executive and the government of the day on its approach toward the Covid-19 pandemic and even more importantly the needed steps to prevent a second wave of infection especially since the decision to reopen the economy under the CMCO.
Since majority of industries and economic activities are allowed under CMCO, there is no reasonable justification that parliament cannot play its legislative role especially during this crucial period.
Besides the Supplementary Bill that needs to be tabled and scrutinised especially when it involves a big sum of public money, there are many other important laws that need to be passed especially to give protection to workers and businesses during this period.
In Singapore, Bills such as COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act was approved in early April 2020 that will give proper protection during this period.
Such important Acts also needs to be passed as soon as possible in Malaysia and should not wait until July to do so when the people are already feeling the economic impact of the virus now.
Even if that needed Bill is passed in July in Parliament, it still needs to go to the Senate which only sits in September 2020.
That means that important laws concerning Covid-19 will only be passed and possibly gazzeted earliest by October 2020, or even end of the year.
In that whole period, imagine the quantity of people and businesses that will be affected and yet there are no laws to properly protect them in this unprecedented period.
That is why , the government should see all this as a priority and essential services and allow us to debate and pass such laws as soon as possible since the economic impact of the virus WAITS FOR NO ONE.
Again, if other countries can do it, why can’t Malaysia?
[13:41, 2020年5月14日] 翱翔天際的夢: Kelvin：Why can’t Malaysia having Parliament sessions to debate and pass Bills on essential matters ?