Azalina calls for an interim Emergency govt

The deputy speaker suggests the formation of Emergency Cabinet with representation from all political parties

by AZREEN HANI / Pic by BERNAMA

DEWAN Rakyat deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has called for an interim Emergency government to be formed, with representation from all political parties.

Azalina, who had previously advocated an end to Parliament’s suspension under the current Emergency, called on the Perikatan Nasional government to reconvene Parliament in order for Malaysia to move forward.

“Promulgate an Ordinance for Parliament to reconvene without motions of confidence to be heard. Until and unless the pandemic is controlled and herd immunity of at least 50% is achieved, no general election should be held.

“Instead, an interim Emergency government with an Emergency Cabinet will be formed, with representation from all political parties,” the Pengerang MP said in a statement yesterday.

Azalina proposed several standard operating procedures for the Parliament to reconvene which, among others, include virtual sessions.

“Invest in preparing for virtual Parliament and speech-to-text systems. It’s not costly! Even Zoom provides polling options to facilitate voting processes.”

Azalina said she spoke with Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who had no objection for such sessions to be held.

“At the expense of sounding like a broken record, I see no other way for Malaysia to move forward in this state of Emergency but for the Parliament to reconvene.”

The government, she said, must not lock down the process of democracy as the people have already suffered enough trade-offs by compromising basic democratic and individual rights for the sake of a public health crisis.

“We are at war with a virus that knows no borders and a key strategy to fight any war is gaining public trust.

“By denying the rights of MPs to engage with the government in a meaningful manner, you are denying the rights of the people,” she said.

The former de facto law minister said her previous letter in February to Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun and the current law minister on the emasculation of Parliament has been left unanswered.

“It would seem that the suspension of Parliament has not only crippled democracy, but it has also crippled the capacity of government officials of basic courtesy to respond to valid concerns raised by MPs beyond the walls of Dewan Rakyat,” said Azalina.