Ambiga urges civil society to push for Parliament to reopen, defend Undi18

(From left) Ambiga Sereenavasan, Maszlee Malik, Hannah Yeoh and Maria Chin Abdullah speak to reporters outside the Dang Wangi District Police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur April 4, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
(From left) Ambiga Sereenavasan, Maszlee Malik, Hannah Yeoh and Maria Chin Abdullah speak to reporters outside the Dang Wangi District Police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur April 4, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 2 — Lawyer and human rights activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan today said that it was time for the civil society to pressure the government to reopen Parliament and challenge the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government for delaying the implementation of Undi18.

She also urged Opposition MPs to form a shadow cabinet and respond to new laws, policy and decisions made by the PN government.

“Civil society must speak up, also the parliamentarians...parliamentarians should form shadow cabinets and they should be responding to what the government is doing,” she told reporters during a press conference outside the Dang Wangi police district headquarters today.

Ambiga is one of the four individuals including three MPs that had their statements recorded from the police today for protesting in front of the parliament last Saturday over the delay in the implementation of Undi18.

She said Emergency proclamation which was advised to the king by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has no basis.

“Now we see ministers travelling all over the place, getting vaccinations first so there is no basis why this is happening.

“If we are silent this time, this will happen again and again,” she said.

Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah who also had her statement recorded said the civil society must rise up important issues must be brought to Parliament for the MPs to do their jobs.

“We have to discuss all these issues, these are the issues of the utmost importance,” she said.

Maria also said the people are more livid now after the government’s recent Emergency ordinance enabled Muhyiddin’s government to tap into the Treasury’s consolidated funds without parliamentary oversight and scrutiny

“How can this be accountable, (when) you don’t need the parliament, you can pass laws, you can spend as much as you like without accounting for it.

“This is wrong, this is unconstitutional and they (PN) are morally obligated to answer to us,” she said.

Other than Ambiga and Maria, Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh were also called up by police for their attendance at the Undi18 rally in front of Parliament on March 27.

They are being investigated under the Peaceful Assembly Act and also if they have violated Covid-19 standard operating procedure during the rally.

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