If we don’t criticise them, they might be doing all kinds of funny things, says Dr M
by ANIS HAZIM / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
PARTI Pejuang Tanah Air will be attending the special Parliament sitting this week, to get more insights on what the government is doing in the pandemic battle efforts.
Pejuang president and former Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said that Pejuang is forced to attend in order to learn what the government is up to.
“We are forced to attend because we don’t know what the government would do if we don’t attend. If we don’t criticise them, they might be doing all kinds of funny things,” Dr Mahathir said during the virtual press conference yesterday.
Dr Mahathir cited the government’s surprising announcement during the Parliament sitting yesterday that all the Emergency ordinances had been revoked as of July 21, 2021.
“The sitting was held solely because of the government’s politics and ruling under consent attack, which is not in compliance with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The rulers want this to be done earlier, but it has taken a long time, and now only they are sitting in Parliament,” Dr Mahathir said.
Pejuang had said last week the party MPs may walk out and boycott the proceeding if it involved only one-way communication and does not serve any benefits to the people.
However, the 96-year-old statesman said that Pejuang would not be joining the government’s National Recovery Council (NRC) although it was invited to be a part of it.
“Inviting an Opposition party to join the council was obviously a political (move) rather than one aimed at addressing the Covid-19 crisis,” Dr Mahathir added.
He stated that he would prefer a body that is filled with professionals conversant in handling pandemics, epidemics and diseases such as the Covid-19 virus over a political body.
Earlier in the Dewan Rakyat, the Langkawi MP said the government just copied other proposals that were mentioned outside of the Parliament, including the establishment of the NRC.
“But even when they formed one, they apparently said its members would comprise professionals. But it’s clearly a political body made up of political leaders who in the end will report back to the PM.
“Such moves do not give focus to the problem at hand. The issue is now a health-related one, of an outbreak which can spread easily, but not enough attention is being given to reduce the number of cases,” he said.
He also questioned why is the Covid-19 vaccine now being sold at RM350 when the government had stated that it would be free for all.
In addition, Dr Mahathir, who is also a qualified medical doctor, also censured the government’s action, or the lack of, which resulted in Covid cases hitting the 17,000 mark on Sunday..
“Hundreds are dying each day and many are committing suicide. The people are suffering and they are under so much pressure.
“That is why there was a Royal Decree for Parliament to reconvene as soon as possible, because issues and problems were increasing by the hour,” he said, adding that the government had ignored the decree by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Malay Rulers for the Parliament to reconvene as soon as possible.