HAKAM Reiterates Call for Government to Extend Parliament Sittings on an Urgent Basis – Statement dd 4 May 2020

HAKAM Reiterates Call for Government to Extend Parliament Sittings on an Urgent Basis

HAKAM reiterates its call for the Government to extend Parliamentary sittings beyond the mere 1 day scheduled on 18th May 2020.pdf

This is especially in light of the Government’s recent decision to allow all businesses to operate with full capacity on 4th May 2020, and will even allow for recreational activities like jogging and golfing to take place.

It would be a complete mockery to the august house of Parliament and constitutional democracy in Malaysia if Parliament is deemed less essential than these activities. There is no excuse now for the Government to restrict Parliamentary sittings to 1-day with no further dates in sight. Read more

HAKAM Reiterates Call for Government to Extend Parliament Sittings on an Urgent Basis

HAKAM reiterates its call for the Government to extend Parliamentary sittings beyond the mere 1 day scheduled on 18th May 2020.

This is especially in light of the Government’s recent decision to allow all businesses to operate with full capacity on 4th May 2020, and will even allow for recreational activities like jogging and golfing to take place.

It would be a complete mockery to the august house of Parliament and constitutional democracy in Malaysia if Parliament is deemed less essential than these activities. There is no excuse now for the Government to restrict Parliamentary sittings to 1-day with no further dates in sight.

The law-making function of Parliament is essential to prepare Malaysia for the economic impact of Covid-19. The Minister of Human Resources himself today announced that labour laws must be revised to suit Covid-19’s ‘new normal’ – how else does one do that without convening Parliament for more than 1 day?

Other governments such as in the UK, Australia and Singapore have reportedly faced no difficulty in convening Parliament to transact sessions. Arrangements such as virtual Parliament hearings through tele-conferencing, social distancing and wearing of masks can be arranged. And these countries have indeed passed much needed laws amidst the pandemic to help people in need and support the economy.

HAKAM calls for the Government to put politics aside in these difficult times. Politics must not be a barrier to urgently needed people-centric legislation.

Lim Wei Jiet

HAKAM Secretary-General

Parliamentary Session Limited to its Mere Opening is Wrong – Statement dd 4/27/2020

HAKAM notes with concern the Prime Minister’s decision to convene a mere 1- day sitting on 18th May 2020. We also understand that there will not be room for debates on 18th May 2020 as the schedule only accommodates the Royal Address and the first reading of several Government Bills.pdf

The Constitution requires Parliament to be summoned from time to time and in any event within 6 months of the last sitting. This strikes a balance between allowing the government to do things, and holding them to account. So that the peoples’ representatives can scrutinise government actions, ask questions, propose alternatives and force them to reveal information and justify their actions. This will inspire public confidence in any measures taken by the
government.

Summoning Parliament just to allow for its opening by the King without more hence subverts this critical Parliamentary role. It fulfils the letter but not the substance of the Constitutional requirement. Its validity is clearly questionable. Read more

Parliamentary Session Limited to its Mere Opening is Wrong – Statement dd 4/27/2020

HAKAM notes with concern the Prime Minister’s decision to convene a mere 1- day sitting on 18th May 2020. We also understand that there will not be room for debates on 18th May 2020 as the schedule only accommodates the Royal Address and the first reading of several Government Bills.

The Constitution requires Parliament to be summoned from time to time and in any event within 6 months of the last sitting. This strikes a balance between allowing the government to do things, and holding them to account. So that the peoples’ representatives can scrutinise government actions, ask questions, propose alternatives and force them to reveal information and justify their actions. This will inspire public confidence in any measures taken by the
government.

Summoning Parliament just to allow for its opening by the King without more hence subverts this critical Parliamentary role. It fulfils the letter but not the substance of the Constitutional requirement. Its validity is clearly questionable. Read more