Jangan beralasan untuk halang proses Parlimen terus berjalan (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) memandang serius kenyataan oleh Timbalan Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat Rashid Hasnon yang menyatakan bilangan ahli Parlimen akan dihadkan pada mesyuarat penggal baharu Dewan Rakyat bermula 6 September depan, atas alasan bagi mengekang penularan wabak Covid.

Kami juga mengambil maklum kenyataan ketua pengarah kesihatan Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah baru-baru ini yang menyatakan terdapat 97 kes positif Covid yang dikaitkan dengan Parlimen termasuk satu kematian melibatkan pegawai kepada timbalan menteri.

Kami berpandangan alasan ini tidak lebih sekadar ulang tayang menggunakan alasan sama Covid sejak tahun lepas lagi bagi menggantung fungsi Parlimen walaupun pelbagai alternatif dan teknologi telah digunakan negara luar agar Parlimen terus beroperasi dengan efektifnya.

Adakah cadangan menghadkan kehadiran ahli Parlimen ke Dewan Rakyat ini adalah salah satu cubaan melengahkan dan terus menunda persidangan Parlimen? Atau apakah ini suatu langkah menghalang proses pengundian bagi usul percaya terhadap perdana menteri daripada berjalan dengan lancar dan adil?

Setelah negara telah hidup dengan norma baharu dan terpaksa hidup dengan Covid bagi tempoh satu setengan tahun, kami serta rakyat keseluruhan mempersoal usaha sebenar kerajaan khususnya KKM dalam menyediakan persekitaran yang selamat untuk institusi Parlimen, selaku badan semak imbang terpenting negara agar terus berfungsi. Gantung dan tunda Parlimen bukan lagi penyelesaiannya. Apakah KKM mengharapkan dengan kaedah sama bakal membuahkan keputusan yang berbeza?

Kami mendesak pihak KKM dan Parlimen Malaysia mengambil langkah proaktif bagi instiusi Parlimen terus berjalan tanpa diratib lagi alasan Covid bagi menghalang aktiviti demokrasi dan semak imbang kepada dasar-dasar negara. Pindaan kepada peraturan mesyuarat mesti disegerakan bagi membenarkan persidangan Parlimen dan mesyuarat jawatankuasa parlimen diadakan secara maya mahupun mod hibrid.

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Kami ingin mengingatkan ketua pengarah kesihatan supaya menjalankan tugasnya secara profesional dan kekal berkecuali dalam politik. KKM dan pandemik Covid tidak boleh digunakan untuk kepentingan politik kerajaan bagi menghalang undi percaya di Parlimen. Selanjutnya, jika ketua pengarah tidak dapat mengendalikan virus Covid di sebuah kawasan tertutup Parlimen untuk persidangan parlimen yang penting ini, adakah kita benar-benar boleh mengharapkan beliau menangani wabak Covid di seluruh negara?

Akhirnya kami percaya proses demokrasi yang terencat akan merencatkan lagi usaha bagi menangani dan mengekang penularan pandemik Covid yang tidak kebah kini. Hendak seribu daya, tak hendak seribu dalih. – Bersih 2.0, 11 August

English version

No reason to stop parliamentary process from continuing

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) takes into serious consideration the statement by Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Rashid Hasnon, who stated that the number of members of Parliament will be limited at the upcoming session of the Dewan Rakyat starting 6 September, on the grounds of curbing the spread of Covid.

We also take note of the Ministry of Health director general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who stated that there were 97 positive Covid cases linked to Parliament, including one death involving an officer for a deputy minister.

We are of the view that this is a repeat of the same reason used before to suspend the functioning of the Parliament. This is in light of the various available alternatives and technologies used by foreign counterparts so that their Parliaments can continue to operate effectively.

Is the proposal to limit the attendance of MPs to the Dewan Rakyat one of the attempts to delay and further postpone the sitting of the Parliament? Or is this a move to prevent a motion of confidence in the prime minister from running smoothly and fairly?

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After the country has lived with the new norms and Covid for one and a half years, we and the people as a whole question the real efforts of the government, especially the MoH, in providing a safe environment for parliamentary institutions, as the most important body for checks and balances in the country, to continue to function. Suspending and postponing Parliament is no longer the solution.

We urge the MoH and Parliament to take proactive measures to encourage the institution of Parliament to function safely and to curb the repetitive and redundant reasons of Covid to hinder democratic checks and balances on national policies. Amendments to the standing orders must be expedited to allow parliamentary sittings and parliamentary committee meetings to be held either virtually or in hybrid mode.

We would like to remind the director general of health to be professional in discharging his duties and to remain politically neutral. The MoH and the Covid pandemic should not be used for the political interests of the Perikatan Nasional government to circumvent the vote of confidence in Parliament.

Furthermore, if the director general of health is not even able to bring the Covid virus under control in one confined area of the Parliament building for very important parliamentary sittings, can we actually expect him to be able to deal with the Covid pandemic nationwide?

Finally, we believe that the stalled democratic process will further hamper efforts to address and curb the spread of the rapidly escalating Covid pandemic. Where there is a will, there is a way. – Bersih 2.0, 11 August

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