Guan Eng: Ironic it’s business as usual for ‘unelected govt’ during Emergency but not elected MPs

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference at Wisma DAP in George Town January 7, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference at Wisma DAP in George Town January 7, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today questioned how an unelected government can continue to operate while Parliament and state assemblies remain suspended.

In a statement today, Lim rebuked the rationale offered by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan that the state of Emergency was not politically motivated, but rather to combat Covid-19.

“If so, why use Emergency powers to suspend Parliament and state assemblies. Can the suspension of Parliament result in Covid-19 magically disappearing?” asked Lim.

“How can the Emergency help to stop retrenchments, business closures and loss of economic livelihood? The people have elected MPs to represent them.

“The suspension of Parliament must be revoked and parliamentary functions restored so that MPs can be the people’s voice to articulate their problems in Parliament. It is ironic that an unelected government can carry on as normal but not elected MPs.

Lim stated that without parliamentary oversight, elected representatives cannot allay the concerns of the people to those in the administration.

“Without parliamentary oversight, the Cabinet’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 cannot be addressed. Huge government procurement contracts can be signed through negotiated tenders without practising open tenders.

“Parliament will no longer be the platform to highlight public pleas for financial help, such as the automatic extension of bank loan moratorium, rental relief of up to 50 per cent discount for all shopping outlets during the MCO period, EPF contributions’ self-withdrawal and increasing to RM1,000 the monthly welfare payments, including the unemployed,” he said.

Lim also stated that the government does not appear to have a clear direction on combating the pandemic.

“Instead, we have witnessed a series of government flip-flops in the first prohibiting business sectors from operating like the automotive industry, optical and optometry as well as laundromat, before making a U-turn.

“The government should not arbitrarily classify certain businesses as non-essential services and prohibited from operating, even though they have few or free from Covid-19 cases,” he said.

Lim also urged the government to use all necessary resources to ensure that public health officials can effectively test, trace and treat Covid-19 cases.

“Full implementation of the 3Ts of testing, tracing and treatment, including full screening tests for all close contacts of Covid-19 patients, is most effective in containing the spread of Covid-19. With a record 4,029 cases yesterday, the government should put out all stops and commit resources both in terms of manpower, equipment and funding to restore the full implementation of 3Ts.

“Failure to do so raises questions about the lack of prioritising and even competency of the Cabinet,” he said.

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