Dr Yii: One-day Parliament sitting deprives role of check and balance of government

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING, May 14: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii believes the federal government’s move to hold a one-day Parliament sitting on May 18 would deprive its legislative role to provide a check and balance for the government.

He stated that since a majority of industries and economic activities were allowed under CMCO, there was no reasonable justification that Parliament could not play its legislative role especially during this crucial period.

“Besides, the Supplementary Bill that needs to be tabled and scrutinised especially when it involves a big sum of public money, there are many other important laws that need to be passed especially to give protection to workers and businesses during this (CMCO) period,” he said in a statement today.

Yii observed that in Singapore, Bills such as Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act was approved in early April 2020 that would give proper protection during its circuit breaker period.

He believed such important Acts also needed to be passed as soon as possible in Malaysia.

Yii opined that the federal government should not wait until July to table the Bill when the people were currently feeling the economic impact of Covid-19.

Even if that needed Bill is passed in July in Parliament, he reasoned that the federal government still needed to go to the Senate which only sits in September 2020.

“That means the important laws concerning Covid-19 will only be passed and possibly gazetted earliest by October 2020 or even end of the year.

“In that whole period, imagine the quantity of people and businesses that will be affected and yet there are no laws to properly protect them in this unprecedented period.

“That is why, the government should see all this as a priority and essential services and allow us to debate and pass such laws as soon as possible since the economic impact of the virus waits for no one,” he lamented.

Additionally, Yii stated that other countries such as Singapore, Japan, Australia, Lebanon, Cambodia and even Myanmar were having their Parliament sessions to debate and pass Bills on essential matters especially on Covid-19, while practicing proper social distancing and precautionary measures.

He opined the one-day Parliament session would be a waste of financial resources.

“For MPs from East Malaysia, we have to spend so much resources and time to travel all the way to KL, even with the limited flights available, do the Covid-19 testing in parliament today and stay here for a week, merely to attend a one-day ceremonial session just to fulfill a constitutional requirement.

“Imagine how much money the government is spending just for this session and yet they do not want to maximize its role. If it is just to hear a speech, we can watch it from home.” —DayakDaily