KUCHING, May 14: Selangau MP Baru Bian believed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin does not have enough support from the number of members of parliament (MPs) to defeat a motion for a no-confidence vote against him.
He opined that the move by Muhyiddin to remove all the items that needed to be discussed during the one-day Parliament sitting on May 18, other than the Royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, is a sign that he was not confident in surviving a no-confidence vote if a motion is tabled.
“Citing health concerns around the Covid-19 virus at this time only sounds like a desperate excuse considering that many sectors of business and industry have been reopening and people are going back to work.
“MPs should not be treated as being more delicate and precious that the ordinary citizen. It is their duty to attend Parliament to bring up and discuss such matters as the effect of the virus and MCO on the people and the economy, the well-being of the nation, and also to consider the various measures that have been taken by the government to help the people,” he said in a statement today.
Moreover, Baru, who is Ba’kelalan assemblyman, also emphasised that the economic stimulus packages that have been announced by the federal government needed to be put before the Dewan Rakyat for debate for transparency and good governance.
“There is no logical reason for not having a proper sitting of Parliament as MPs have travelled to Kuala Lumpur from all corners of Malaysia,” he added.
He disclosed that Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Mohd Yusof had on May 8 accepted a motion from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for a no-confidence vote against Muhyiddin.
Before that, he said the de facto Law Minister had announced on May 3 that the government had also agreed to introduce several relevant bills to be tabled at the July sitting following the effects of Covid-19 on the general public, businesses and companies.
However, he added that the Speaker had written in his notice dated May 13 that he was directed by the Prime Minister to make the changes to the Order of the Day.
While the Royal Address is an important item in the agenda of a Parliamentary sitting, Baru however pointed out that by itself and of itself, cannot constitute a Parliamentary sitting.
“How could it be, when there is not even going to be a motion of thanks to be moved for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech, which is traditionally done at the end of a sitting of Parliament?
“It would be an embarrassment and an affront to the dignity of our institution of Parliament if this sitting were to be known as a sitting that never was,” he added.
Baru pointed out that the legal issue that arises is whether this event on May 18 can be deemed to be a ‘Parliamentary Sitting’ or ‘Meeting’ under the Constitution.
Even before this latest notice from the Speaker, Baru said that issues had been raised concerning the sufficiency of a one-day meeting to fulfill the requirement of Article 55 (1) of the Federal Constitution that Parliament must sit within six months of the last Parliamentary session.
Referring to lawyer Datuk Joy Appukuttan in his opinion published in the Malaysian Bar’s website, he
said the Federal Court had ruled that there needs to be an element of deliberation in order to be a sitting to be held in Parliament and mere attendance is not enough.
“Datuk Joy’s article was written at the time the one-day meeting was to have included certain motions for debate and his opinion was that there should be other matters to be debated and deliberated on, if the Parliamentarians were to be allowed to fulfill their constitutional oaths.
“Now that the Order of the Day has been whittled down to just the Royal Address, the matter has taken an even more serious turn.
“The meeting on May 18 will be devoid of any sort of deliberation, rendering it a non-sitting or an invalid sitting and the implication would be that if the Parliament does not sit before June 18, it would have failed to sit within six months of the last Parliamentary session, which ended on December 17, 2019,” he claimed.
Therefore, Baru believed that this situation would give rise to the consequence that the government is not legitimate for being unconstitutional.— DayakDaily