Parlimen perlu terus menyemak dan memantau kerajaan walaupun dalam krisis (Malay/English)

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Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Semak dan imbang terhadap pentadbiran oleh institusi Parlimen adalah perlu dan penting dalam memastikan akauntabiliti dan ketelusan kerajaan, ujar WH Cheng.

Setelah rampasan kuasa Perikatan Nasional yang berjaya menggulingkan Pakatan Harapan daripada tampuk pemerintahannya pada Februari 2020 yang lalu, kerajaan yang dibentuk oleh PN telah memutuskan agar majlis mesyuarat pertama, penggal ketiga, Parlimen ke-14 yang pada asalnya dijadual bermula pada 9 Mac 2020 ditunda ke 18 Mei 2020.

Kerajaan PN telah mengambil kesempatan daripada penularan wabak coronavirus yang tidak dapat dikawal pada masa itu dan berikutan perlaksanaan perintah kawalan pergerakan, kerana pimpinan PN juga masih kurang yakin dengan kestabilan jumlah angka sokongan ahli-ahli parlimen yang ada sekarang.

PN dilihat memerlukan suatu masa yang lebih lama bagi memperkukuhkan lagi bilangan angka sokongannya di Parlimen.

Selain daripada itu, penundaan sidang Parlimen tersebut juga dilihat mempunyai kaitan rapat dengan perhimpunan agung dan pemilihan parti Bersatu yang pada mulanya dijadual pada bulan April tetapi telah ditunda ke bulan Jun depan dengan menggunakan alasan yang serupa.

Penundaan perhimpunan agung dan pemilihan parti Bersatu itu juga membolehkan presiden partinya Muhyiddin Yassin yang bakal dicabar oleh timbalan presiden parti Mukhriz Mahathir, memperoleh masa yang lebih panjang bagi berunding dan meraih sokongan di peringkat bahagian-bahagian dan cawangan-cawangan Bersatu di seluruh negara.

Yang kini lebih membimbangi Muhyiddin sekarang adalah berikutan kenyataan seorang ahli parlimen PN daripada Umno, Bung Moktar Radin yang secara terang mengakui bahawa Perikatan Nasional dibentuk berdasarkan kesefahaman dan kepentingan diri ahli-ahli parlimen yang menyokong bentuk perikatan tersebut dan bukannya mengikut sebarang kesepakatan dasar (common policy).

Tetapi, perdana menteri dan kerajaan PN perlu ingat bahawa mereka tidak boleh mengambil kesempatan dengan bertindak sewenang-wenangnya hanya kerana perintah kawalan pergerakan dan pengawalan terhadap penularan wabak tersebut.

PN juga harus ingat walaupun perintah kawalan pergerakan masih berkuatkuasa, ianya bukan pengisytiharan darurat di mana sidang Parlimen boleh ditunda atau waktu prosidingnya disingkatkan sesuka hatinya.

Dalam keadaan sekarang, PN juga tidak seharusnya mengambil kesempatan mengekang dan mengambil tindakan terhadap laporan akhbar mengenai ketidakpuashati dan kritikan orang ramai terhadap dasar dan pentadbirannya yang dilihat masih tidak menentu di dalam keputusan perlaksanaannya.

Tindakan PN ini juga dilihat cuba membelakangi amalan demokrasi dan hak asasi manusia dengan menggunakan wabak tersebut sebagai alasan untuk mengukuhkan kedudukan dan kuasanya.

Walau dalam keadaan ini, rakyat jelata dan pihak akhbar masih berhak untuk memerhati, memantau dan menyuarakan pendapat mereka bagi memastikan kerajaan PN ini tidak lari daripada tanggungjawabnya untuk rakyat dan negara.

Oleh itu, langkah kerajaan ini untuk memendekkan hari, waktu dan tempoh persidangan Parlimen tersebut dilihat tidak wajar kerana ianya dilihat sebagai satu perbuatan untuk menghadkan peranan semak dan imbang terhadap kerajaan ini khususnya di dalam pelbagai perkara yang melibatkan belanjawan tambahan, bantuan kepada rakyat, pengembalian sejumlah besar wang curian 1MDB daripada penyitaan pihak berkuasa Amerika Syarikat, hak asasi kemanusiaan, ketidakadilan dan pelbagai isu-isu semasa yang berlaku baru-baru ini.

Selain dari itu, penelitian terhadap beberapa rang undang-undang dan pindaan perlembagaan, serta pemantauan dan persoalan terhadap beberapa keperluan yang tertangguh berikutan penularan wabak tersebut memerlukan penjelasan dan jawapan yang selanjutnya daripada menteri-menteri yang bertanggungjawab.

Dengan hanya menggunakan alasan penularan dan kawalan wabak penyakit tersebut untuk menghalang sidang Parlimen daripada dijalankan dengan sempurna adalah tidak wajar dan tidak dapat diterima sama sekali.

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Adalah menjadi tanggungjawab kerajaan ini untuk merancang dan mengatur langkah-langkah perlu bagi membolehkan persidangan Parlimen ini dapat dijalankan dengan sempurna dan selamat buat semua ahli-ahli parlimen yang akan menghadirinya dan bukannya mengelak daripada sidang perundangan tersebut.

Ingin kami tegaskan bahawa kerajaan PN, yang kini dianggotai oleh Bersatu, Umno, Pas dan Gabungan Parti Sarawak, haruslah diperhati dan dipantau dengan lebih teliti berdasarkan sejarah gelap di masa lalu sewaktu pemerintahan Barisan Nasional (BN) yang pernah dianggotai oleh Umno dan GPS selama 61 tahun lamanya. Berbilion-bilion ringgit lesap sama sekali daripada perbendaharaan negara akibat penyalahgunaan kuasa dan amalan rasuah para pemimpin BN yang lalu.

Kini, yang perlu kita pantau dengan lebih dekat lagi adalah perlantikan semua ahli-ahli parlimen PN untuk mengetuai setiap syarikat berkaitan kerajaan dan syarikat pelaburan berkaitan kerajaan kerana ianya menimbulkan banyak ketidakpuashati, kerisauan dan kebimbangan umum.

Zaman gelap era BN dan Umno mungkin akan kembali menghantui negara kita, dan penyalahgunaan kuasa serta amalan rasuah akan berulang.

Sekiranya kerajaan ini ikhlas untuk meneruskan tanggungjawabnya mentadbir negara ini, mereka tidak seharusnya cuba membelakangi amalan demokrasi dengan menggunakan pelbagai alasan untuk menghalang Parlimen daripada terus bersidang dengan sempurna.

Dalam pada itu, Yang Dipertua (Speaker) Dewan Rakyat juga harus meminta semua jawatankuasa pilihan parlimen (parliamentary select committees) agar terus memantau kementerian-kementerian, agensi-agensi kerajaan, syarikat berkaitan kerajaan, syarikat pelaburan berkaitan kerajaan dan pakej rangsangan ekonomi yang telah diumumkan baru-baru ini bagi memastikan kepentingan rakyat dan negara terjamin.

Jawatankuasa-jawatankuasa pilihan parlimen yang telah dilantik sebelum ini adalah:

  • Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Menimbang Rang Undang-Undang
  • Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Bajet
  • Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Pertahanan dan Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Kesaksamaan Gender Dan Pembangunan Keluarga
  • Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Hubungan Antara Negeri-Negeri dan Persekutuan
  • Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Untuk Melantik Jawatan-Jawatan Utama Perkhidmatan Awam
  • Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Pilihan Raya
  • Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Hak Asasi Manusia Dan Hal Ehwal Perlembagaan
  • Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Hubungan Dan Perdagangan Antarabangsa
  • Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Sains, Inovasi Dan Alam Sekitar

Semak dan imbang terhadap pentadbiran oleh institusi Parlimen adalah perlu dan penting dalam memastikan akauntabiliti dan ketelusan kerajaan agar penyalahgunaan kuasa dan apajua salahlaku dapat dibendung dengan sewajarnya.

Sumber: inter-researchstudies.blogspot.com

English version

In times of crisis, Parliament must effectively check and scrutinise the government

In times of crisis, like the current coronavirus pandemic in our nation, Parliament as the highest institution in this country must ensure our people and the nation’s wellbeing are being prioritised by the government of the day.

In this case, even if the coronavirus is not yet under control and the movement control order is being implemented, the period and time of Parliament sittings should not be reduced, no matter what it takes to ensure the sitting government is properly checked and scrutinised in whatever it undertakes. This is to ensure that the public interest is upheld and to prevent corruption, abuse of power and mismanagement of funds.

It is the utmost responsibility of the sitting government to ensure the smooth proceedings of Parliament by ensuring all MPs of their safety and security while the proceedings are ongoing as the crisis is being tackled.

Today, based on our observation of the government, it is obviously disappointing in all their daily undertakings.

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We note that ministers are wasting time on front-line staff and wasting much-needed government assets to publicise their so-called visits from one place to another.

Ministers give out their rulings but end up retracting them. Ministers give contradicting messages to the public.

Ministers and deputy ministers themselves and their relatives openly and arrogantly defy the movement control order without any fear of arrest or prosecution, while ordinary folk have to undergo harsh punishment if they defy the movement control order.

Then a minister claimed that by consuming warm water, patients would be able to get rid of the coronavirus. He later made a conference call and then claimed he had dealt with and spoken to about 500 nations about our preventive measures to curb the pandemic.

A senior minister who made a wrong statement to the public but later blamed it to a CNA journalist over her “misquote” or “misreport” of his statement, later went on warn all newspapers and news portals that stern actions would be taken against them for any future “misreport”.

All this happened because the Perikatan Nasional government has been arrogant, left unchecked since its successful coup against the then Pakatan Harapan government on February 2020.

After PN toppled PH from Putrajaya, the new government then went on to postpone the Parliament sitting, originally scheduled for 9 March 2020, to 18 May 2020 fearing the uncertainty over the number of MPs it claimed to have earlier.

The postponement of the scheduled Parliament sitting was also said to be the best strategy to prevent a no-confidence vote from being mooted against the prime minister and his government.

This was followed by the postponement of the annual general assembly and party elections of Bersatu from April 2020 to June 2020, which saw party president Muhyiddin Yasin being challenged by deputy president Muhkriz Mahathir.

Muhyiddin took advantage of the coronavirus crisis and the movement control order implementation nationwide to delay parliamentary proceedings and withhold the Bersatu party elections.

Apparently, he needed more time to negotiate with all MPs to affirm their support before the next Parliament sitting and to hold further discussions with all Bersatu division chairpersons nationwide to garner more support and ensure he gets to keep his party presidency.

During the movement control order period, rebel government is also seen to be expediting the termination of the current heads of government-linked companies, government-linked investment companies and other agencies and replacing them with MPs from Perikatan Nasional.

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This gave rise to concerns over whether the Barisan Nasional-era corruption and abuse of power, which cost the nation billions of ringgit in losses, would repeat and whether the plundering would resume.

The concerns arose now that the much-tainted Umno and Gabungan Parti Sarawak, which were once in the BN coalition, are now back in charge as members of the new government.

As such, Parliament ought to continue its role in providing checks and balance on this new government, which has since taken some advantage during this crisis by doing wonders for themselves while we are all under nationwide lockdown.

Parliament must ensure that whatever undertakings made by this rebel government must be closely scrutinised to uphold the public interest instead of letting it off during their “happiest” moment during this period.

Any attempt by the government to avoid or reduce the timing of the parliamentary proceedings should be viewed as irresponsible and an attempt to disregard parliamentary democracy and imposing its own set of rules onto our people and the entire nation.

The government, which includes some who had poor track records during their previous tenure in the BN-era, ought to be closely monitored by all the parliamentary select committees appointed last year.

The select committees appointed by Parliament from 2018 until 2019 were:

  • Special Select Committee for Consideration of Bills
  • Special Select Committee on Budget
  • Special Select Committee on Defence And Home Affairs
  • Special Select Committee on Gender Equality And Family Development Special Select Committee on States And Federal Relations
  • Special Select Committee on Major Public Appointments
  • Special Select Committee on Elections
  • Special Select Committee on Human Rights and Constitutional Affairs Special Select Committee on International Relations and Trade
  • Special Select Committee on Science, Innovation and Environment

apart from the Public Accounts Committee.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives in Parliament must ensure all these select committees continue their oversight commitments to check on the various cabinet ministries, subsidiary agencies, government-linked companies and government-linked investment companies to ensure proper management, accountability, transparency and competency of these institutions.

What make matters worse today are the appointments of PN MPs to head all those agencies, government-linked companies and government-linked investment companies, which have been seen as an unhealthy move by the government to gain support to ensure its survival.

From now on, there will be more politicians doing or handling business transactions – which could spell the return of massive corruption, abuse of power and mismanagement in the next couple of months if Parliament does not gear up its efforts to ensure its strength and independence in checking and scrutinising the government.

Source: inter-researchstudies.blogspot.com

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Khoo Soo Hay
Khoo Soo Hay
5 May 2020 8.25am

Cannot put politicians in charge of GLCs. They will take advantage of their authority to mismanage them. They are only looking for opportunities, or in Penang Hokkien, “Khang Tau” to lay their hands on using GLCs’ assets to buy or sell them, and getting kick backs or commissions in the process. We had seen what happened to Felda and others. It is putting the foxes in the chicken coops! Our guys do not have any ethics or morality, or public interest. They have only their own interests. If the PM can do it, (Najib’s case, 1 MDB) why cannot the underlings follow suit?