Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said democracy in the country is now dead, following the government’s decision to suspend Parliament.
He likened democracy to a person being wrapped in a shroud (dikafankan) as part of a Muslim burial.
“The voice of the Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker (Azalina Othman Said) was not hers alone but represented all of us.
“What she wrote in her letter to the attorney-general was not only about the law and politics but represented the people’s voice,” Zahid said in an interview with Malaysia Post.
She had also expressed bewilderment that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had advised the government to disallow proceedings for all parliamentary committees, even if they were held virtually.
The government had said the emergency was necessary to combat the Covid-19 pandemic but critics claimed it was a way for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to cling to power after losing his majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
The emergency will expire in August and Muhyiddin has promised to hold a general election when the pandemic is resolved.
Zahid said even though he was a government backbencher, he needed to speak up for the people.
“MPs should be in Parliament to represent the people’s voice, but when democracy had been laid to rest, will the people’s voice be silenced?
“Why can’t Parliament sit when night markets and shopping malls can open?
“Are MPs more at risk (in Parliament) than when visiting the night market?” the Bagan Datuk MP asked.
Zahid also sarcastically “congratulated” the government as new Covid-19 cases remained high despite the state of emergency, the movement control order (MCO) and various standard operating procedures (SOPs) put in force.
“There are estimates that cases could reach 20,000 a day in March. It is indeed a good achievement and major success for our country.
“Surely the emergency should be extended as it is intended for the pandemic. It gives a reason for the emergency to be extended,” he said.
On another matter, Zahid said Umno is committed to seeing the voting age be lowered from 21 to 18, even though some within Bersatu were now wavering on this. MKINI
‘Legislature emasculated’ – three cheers for Azalina
‘If we have more MPs of such stature, there is still hope for a very bright future…’
Public Transit Is Better Than Highways: As someone who has had the opportunity to meet Deputy Speaker Azalina Othman Said in person, I can comment that she is a sharp, intelligent and overtly liberal than her BN counterparts, which sometimes makes me question whether if she, like her colleague Khairy Jamaluddin, is stepping out of the party line.
And for those who say that Azalina should withdraw her support for Perikatan Nasional (PN) and step down as deputy speaker, I disagree.
As much as I hate PN to the core, Azalina should stay in her position as long as possible because, who knows, what personality that PN will replace in her absence; perhaps an even worse individual will fill her vacancy – and it’s more hell for all of us.
Ironically indeed, that Azalina, in where she is now, gives her power to keep the power-hungry politicians in PN in check, and this is one of it.
ScarletPanda9731: Hear, hear, deputy speaker, for being brave enough to write a strong letter to the AG with copies to several leaders on the suspension of Parliament.
Congratulations for having the courage to speak up and speak out! If we have more MPs of such stature, there is still hope for a very bright future for the nation. You have shown that you will not be meek and timid in doing your duties as deputy speaker.
Malaysia badly needs leaders like you to make our beloved nation an honest nation. The world sorely needs people like you to stand up, to get out of their comfort zone and do the right thing.
I would like to conclude by quoting Eleanor Roosevelt, spouse of former US president Franklin Roosevelt, who said: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticised anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
Three cheers to you!
Dr Raman Letchumanan: Azalina, good of you for speaking up. It doesn’t matter what your motive or affiliation is, as long as you speak for the rakyat.
We need reasoned rebuffs against this oppressive government. The opposition should be saying this, but they are only interested in filing lawsuits.
I noticed you signed off as an MP, not as a deputy speaker. It must be very difficult for you to write this, obviously against the wishes of the speaker, and your boss, to the attorney-general, his brother. I congratulate you for this audacious statement.
USD 4: Yes, Azalina, proud to have you, someone who is brave to point out what is right even though it’s against her master.
Hold on to your principle to ensure our parliamentary sittings proceed so that whatever measures implemented are transparently debated and accounted for, instead of hiding behind the excuse of an emergency.
Bluemountains: I am truly impressed with your belief in the rule of law, Azalina. You have the courage to call a spade a spade, while most of your colleagues have sold their souls to the devil for the sake of some perks.
The situation may not be beyond redemption if some of your colleagues share your conviction.
What will you do if you are not able to convince the AG to do the right thing? Will you withdraw your support for the PN government to make your point?
JayWai: Yes, I am also very impressed with Azalina… her guts to voice out her concerns, contrary to the PN government’s stance.
I would have imagined that this would be something the speaker should have done to defend our Constitution and our democracy. Again, a woman leading the way in Parliament!
Kim Quek: Azalina is right in pointing out the shocking absurdity of suspending Parliament.
With the absolute power granted under the proclamation of emergency now, Malaysia is virtually a totalitarian state – a self-destructive assault on Malaysia’s image, which further jeopardises Malaysia’s faltering economy.
However, Azalina is wrong in proposing the present cabinet be replaced by a trimmed-down emergency cabinet and a bi-partisan parliamentary committee. This is unnecessary.
What we need now is an immediate reinstatement of Parliament through an amendment to the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, and let Parliament resume its constitutional role.
BlackTiger7716: At least we have someone with brain from Umno – finally! However, we still have a backdoor government. This excellent note will be dismissed, and very soon Azalina will have to say farewell to her position too… once the Parliament reconvenes.
Of course, by then Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin would have bought over a few opposition members to show he has the majority or threaten some BN members with corruption charges to toe the line.
Malaysia is doomed with the present government. We need a new set of young leaders!
PinkCougar9549: Nobody needs multi-million ringgit to live happily, even though it’s absolutely appropriate to accumulate and possess your legally and rightfully gained wealth.
Unfortunately, many top Malaysian executives are blinded by the wealth and power that come with top positions. They literally destroyed the effectiveness and efficiency of the many institutions in order to gain wealth and power.
This eventually will ruin the country, day by day, and soon we will be even far behind countries like Indonesia and the Philippines.
So, it’s time for all right-minded Malaysian leaders, regardless of race and religion, to wake up and save our country from going downwards. Think of the rakyat’s interests, before all others.
Salvage Malaysia: The rakyat can only plead to the Council of Rulers to bring back some sanity to this country.
How can a government that has lost the majority, if my readings from the internet news are correct, use an emergency proclamation that didn’t even adhere to our constitutional laws to suspend whatever deemed necessary? And to continue to be remunerated and spend taxpayers’ monies.
Trust in our sultans and Agong when all things fail. Malaysia has been hijacked at this moment and the rakyat are dying.
Anonymous_3f4b: Pressure is now piling up on Muhyiddin to call for a parliamentary session leading to its dissolution by the forces of Umno and Pakatan Harapan. Well, let it be and bring it on.
The 15th general election is the only way to sort out this political impasse. Covid or no Covid, let the people decide with proper standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place. Let there be a battle royale among PN, BN and Harapan. MKINI